Gardner Lake trash troubles continue

gardner lake trash troubles 5 Gardner Lake trash troubles continue
Gardner Lake in Salem (WTNH / Tina Detelj)

SALEM, Conn. (WTNH) — The State just gave the all clear for swimming at Gardner Lake State Park. Bacteria levels are low, but when more people go swimming there on the weekend people say more trash piles up.

Already there’s trash on the ground near one of the grills which has a baby’s dirty diaper in it.

“It’s really disappointing, really,” said Bill Hahnel of Salem.

Disappointing and some say disgusting. Despite the fact the State asks nicely that people carry out what they carry in by posting several signs, a viewer who wanted to remain anonymous sent News 8 pictures taken during the July Fourth holiday weekend. They show trash scattered on the beach, port-o-lets clogged with garbage, and trash piled put outside one of the port-o-lets and next to a tree.

“A lot of it has to do with it being a free beach and free facilities,” said Hahnel. “People come in and they just they figure it’s free and its a free for all maybe.”

gardner lake trash troubles 4 Gardner Lake trash troubles continue
Trash left on the beach at Gardner Lake in Salem (WTNH / Tina Detelj)

Hahnel lived on the lake in Salem for more than ten years, and doesn’t have to see pictures to know the mess people leave behind, especially after a holiday weekend.

“You name it it’s on the beach,” said Hahnel. “It’s KFC containers, it’s dirty diapers, it’s beer cans, beer tops and tabs for beer cans, it’s glass sometimes busted glass.”

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says it had a dumpster at Gardner Lake in the past and plans to bring one back in the next few weeks. Still it will continue to be a pack in pack out state park so people need to clean up after themselves.

“We’ve seen hypodermic needles,” added Hahnel. “I mean it’s bad it’s really bad.”

It’s no day at the beach either for state workers who clean the park five days a week.

“Just have a little respect for the town and for the beach and for the other beachgoers and whatnot,” said Hahnel.

One of the workers told News8 they set a record for how man trash bags they carried out on July 5th. So apparently a lot of people are not carrying out what they carry in.