Keeping Bread and Cheese Creek clean “an ongoing process”
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 11:30

Next cleanup event slated for Sept. 15

by Ben Boehl

    The Clean Bread and Cheese Creek group cleans many waterways in Dundalk, but this Saturday, they are heading home to work yet again on historic Bread and Cheese Creek.
    John Long, founder and president of the group, has scheduled the cleanup for Saturday, Sept. 15 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the area between Merritt Boulevard and Goodman Avenue in Berkshire.
    Long and his group help with cleanups all over the area, from Stansbury Pond to Bear Creek, but this Saturday is one of the two cleanups he organizes himself each year.
    Long said that during the first few years, he would find refrigerators and sofas in the waterway. He is seeing less of those large items, but still finds fast-food wrappers and other trash that finds its way to the water. While Long acknowledges  that some people do litter, he blames the reoccurring trash on the storm drainage system in Dundalk.

“Our biggest problem is the storm water management. Everything we have found is usually trash from a parking lot that comes from overflowing trash cans and gets into the (waterways) when it rains,” said Long, as he believes that Bread and Cheese Creek would only need to be cleaned one time a year if Baltimore County had an updated and improved storm water system.
    Long still finds shopping carts and waste materials dumped from home remodeling.
    He would like to see the Baltimore County government and local businesses near the waterways to place cameras to catch the dumping on film.
    “We wanted Baltimore County to have cameras, but it would be a privacy issue,” Long explained. “We wanted cameras in shopping centers, but they could be held liable [if any other activity was caught on tape].”
    One problem that the Clean Bread and Cheese Creek group doesn’t have is getting volunteers. Long estimated that between 100 and 140 volunteers come out to clean at the group’s events. Clean Bread and Cheese Creek is also authorized to give student community service hours and court-mandated service hours.
    Long admitted that it can become frustrating to go back to the creek and find the same type of trash each time, but the creek can only get worse by not having a cleanup.
     “Every piece of trash we pick up is not going into the [Chesapeake] Bay. We love our bay,” Long said “It can be an ongoing process, but it needs to be done.”