Last summer, Lusandra Garcia of Bayonne, a student at County Prep High School, decided that she wanted to do something about climate change. On July 20, 2020, she formed Eco-Youth, an organization of young people who care about the environment. They have tried to educate the public about climate change via Facebook and Instagram, and have also take part in clean-up campaigns.
In September 2020, the Eco-Youth brought twenty-seven people together to clean up the waterfront area at DiDomenico-16tth Street Park. According to Lusandra, they found all kinds of stuff at the waterfront including tires, a football, and parts of a cart. In their clean-up, the Eco-Youth filled twenty-seven bags of garbage. Anyone who has ever taken part in waterfront clean-ups has had similar experiences. Unfortunately, people drop litter and dump large items upstream in the Hackensack River or the Hudson River, and then those pieces of refuse flow downstream through Newark Bay or New York Bay to Bayonne.
During the Earth Day clean-up in Bayonne on April 24, the Eco-Youth picked up litter on Broadway from 16th to th Street, and then went down Avenue C to pick up more litter from 30th to 16th Street. They filled more than ten garbage bags that day. The group is looking to take part in additional clean-up projects. We would welcome whatever clean-up campaigns the Eco-Youth and other organizations would like to do.
For their next project, the Eco-Youth are exploring ways to have a convenient system of drop-off recycling for items that are hard to recycle. The City of Bayonne already recycles such items as paper, cardboard, cans, bottles, scrap metal, and electronics. However, we recognize that there may be additional items that could be recycled. We are open to learning about ways to expand recycling. There is a very practical reason for recycling items rather than putting them in the garbage: money. It is very costly to pay tipping fees to place garbage in landfills. If we can keep items out of garbage dumps by recycling them, we could save the taxpayers money.
The Eco-Youth group is looking to expand its activities to other schools. It already has members in other states. I wish them the best as they do whatever they can to improve the climate and clean the Earth. I would like to commend Lusandra Garcia and her colleagues for the important work that they are doing.