The New England Convenience Store and Energy Marketers Association (NECSEMA) has donated $10,000 to the Nantucket Clean Team to assist in its ongoing campaign to rid the island’s shoreline and historic streets of trash and waste. The check was presented Wednesday to the Clean Team at the Orange Street Cumberland Farms.
“This is about recognizing the unique quality of Nantucket, the importance of protecting the environment and the need to deal with trash effectively,” NECSEMA Executive Director Jonathan Shaer said in a press release. “Nantucket welcomes tens of thousands of visitors every week in the summer who shop at our members’ stores. We want to be sure we are helping keep the streets and beaches clean and encouraging proper waste disposal to preserve the island’s charm and character.”
Convenience stores across the island will be participating in a new campaign, which will include new signage reminding customers to dispose of trash properly and information on the Nantucket Clean Team. The funding donated by NECSEMA will be used by the Clean Team to raise awareness, as well as purchase equipment to help its efforts, such as commercial street vacuums and trash receptacles.
“This generous donation couldn’t come at a better time,” says longtime Clean Team member Adam Dread. “We hope to use some of these funds to purchase cordless outdoor leaf vacuums. One of our biggest problems, and pet peeves, is discarded cigarette butts, which are difficult and time consuming to pick up, especially when wet or between cobblestones.”
The Clean Team is a group of more than 400 volunteers who participate in regular cleanups of the island’s roads, beaches, dunes and bike paths to keep them free from litter. The island sees a surge in litter in summer months due to the influx of tourists and because it sits along the Gulf Stream, which historically results in high volumes of ocean pollution washing up on the island’s beaches.
“We applaud NECSEMA and store owners on the island for recognizing the need for more resources to help keep the island clean, especially as we head into the busy summer months,” said Nantucket Clean Team founder Bill Connell. “We welcome this assistance from the convenience store community to help us keep Nantucket’s streets, beaches and green spaces free of trash.”
Nantucket-based NECSEMA members have been hearing recently from customers and community members about the trash that builds up around the island. As a result, island retailers came together to raise funds to assist the Clean Team’s efforts to rid Nantucket of litter.
“Convenience store operators understand their role in the community and understand that Nantucket is unique because it sees so many tourists,” Shaer said. “We are proud to partner with the Nantucket Clean Team and do our part to change people’s behavior and keep the island clean.”