On a warm Friday afternoon, a small group of people armed with trash bags and plastic gloves gathered on the Newburgh Waterfront trail to clean up the Hudson River. For an hour and a half, they wandered the grounds picking up litter, debris and anything detrimental to the water system.
Last Friday’s cleanup was organized by the Can’d Aid Foundation and the Ball Corporation to clean up and help beautify the Hudson River.
Ball and Can’d Aid are partner organizations. As partners, they’ve also paired up to take on six river cleanups throughout the nation. Recruitment for volunteers has been done in person and through the internet. Volunteers predominantly came from the Ball Corporation. Some volunteers found the event from social media and public recruitment events.
According to their website, the Can’d Aid Foundation is an organization that “spreads people powered do-goodery through towns, tunes, treads + trails and Love Yur Mama efforts nationwide.” The group partakes in community service work throughout the nation.
The Ball Corporation manufactures metal packaging for beverage, food and household products. In addition, the corporation provides metal packaging for aerospace and other technologies, for commercial and government customers.
Logan Firehammer, the program coordinator at Can’d Aid, and Juella Guadalupe, regional senior buyer at the Ball Corporation, were the lead organizers for the event. This year’s cleanup was the first. “We could make it an annual event,” said Guadalupe. “We’re going to see how it goes.”
“Cand’Aid and Ball are really working together to send this message of eliminating single use plastic,” said Firehammer. “So, encouraging people to recycle and to make more conscious decisions when they’re shopping about how their foods, and the things that they’re buying, are packaged.”
According to Firehammer, by choosing not to purchase single use plastic and recycling, it’ll be easier to “protect our waterways” and “eliminate all the waste” seen in landmarks like the Hudson River. Ball believes that metal is better for the environment than single-use plastic, due to its “infinite recyclability.”
“This is a great opportunity for us [those involved in the event] to get out for our community, and do something good,” said Guadulupe. “The little bit of effort we put in today, can have a dramatic effect on tomorrow. “