County offers dumpsters to help neighborhoods with storm cleanup

Staff writer

With some debris and garbage from last month’s storm still littering shorelines, Anne Arundel County government is planning to place dumpsters in waterfront neighborhoods so residents can clean up logs and branches.

The county announced Monday that it’s working with neighborhood associations to identify locations to place the trash receptacles.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for our communities to come together and return our beaches to usable condition,” County Executive Steve Schuh said in a news release.

As the clean-up continues, beaches that were temporarily closed because of debris are re-opening for swimming and waterways have been cleared for boating.

While the county will place and collect the dumpsters, the people from the waterfront neighborhoods will be responsible for filling them.

A spokesman said how many are distributed will be based on need. The timing of the dumpsters arrival will likely be staggered because of limited resources and contractor availability, the spokesman said.

The dumpsters are for storm-related debris, and old furniture, garbage and other bulk trash will not be accepted.

The decision to place dumpsters in waterfront neighborhoods came after the county closed three waterfront parks because of debris and pollutants that came with heavy rains late last month. The pollution situation was complicated by a decision to open the Conowingo Dam, bringing additional water — and sediment and sticks and logs — downstream.

In response to the storms, the county closed Beverly Triton Beach Park, Downs Park’s dog beach, and the swimming area at Fort Smallwood Park. As of Monday afternoon Fort Smallwood’s facilities had reopened while the county was testing water samples from Beverly Triton and still removing debris from Downs Park.

And the Maryland Department of Natural Resources closed Sandy Point State Park for swimming last week.

Park Service staff and Maryland Conservation Corps members and volunteers removed “several tons” by hand and with equipment from Sandy Point.

“Thanks to their efforts, we were able to open water access for swimming and wading from the park on Friday afternoon,” Gregg Bortz, a DNR spokesman, said in an email.

“Dedicated staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to clear tons of water-borne storm debris from the park's shoreline,” DNR’s Facebook page said.

Patches of sticks and logs clogged Ego Alley in Annapolis, causing a navigational hazard for boaters, but as of Monday the water there appeared clear.

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