Half ton of garbage collected from cleanup
Chrissy Holubinka always dreamed of studying marine science. But when she started her studies at the university, that program did not exist. She knew she wanted a career that allowed her to be outdoors, but didn’t know what that would be.
The 25-year-old switched her major twice before finally settling on environmental science, which eventually led to her current job as the recreation supervisor of the George Wilson Center and the coordinator of volunteers for the City of Newark.
“I went into the University of Delaware as a geology major because I wanted to do the marine science program that they have now, but it wasn’t developed yet for undergraduates,” Holubinka said.
She switched into the environmental science major the spring of her junior year because she yearned to be outside and said she couldn’t sit in a classroom for years to come.
The Wilmington native’s love for the outdoors landed her with the responsibility of planning and organizing Newark’s Fall Community Cleanup. For at least the past decade, the city has had an annual fall and spring cleanup, but this was Holubinka’s first time running the event.
On Oct. 8, the doors to the City of Newark Municipal Building were open from 9 to 11 a.m. to the 95 Newark residents who signed up to participate.
Once participants signed in, they grabbed enough rubber gloves, garbage bags and zip ties for their team and a location to clean up.
According to Recreation Superintendent for the Newark Parks and Recreation Department Paula Ennis, while they had 140 people register in advance for the event, not everyone showed up.
“When it’s a beautiful day, we have all over more families, more sorority groups, more fraternity groups, more university groups in general,” Holubinka said. She revealed that despite overlapping with Parents and Family Weekend and the cool, drizzly weather interfering with their numbers, they were still on par with the previous year’s cleanup attendance.
City Manager Carol Houck and Mayor Polly Sierer have volunteered at the cleanup in the past but were not able to make it this fall. On Saturday, the volunteers were mostly university students and a few families.
After noticing trash around campus, junior Nicole Del Busto, said she was ready to volunteer.
“I’ve walked down Cleveland a million times and seen trash and been like ‘wow, we should really clean that,’ and now we get the chance to and that’s pretty great,” she said.
While looking for trash in William M. Redd Park, the Grendhal family found art instead of trash. In the woods were pieces of trees, spray-painted with intricate designs in bold colors. In previous years, volunteers have found everything from bottles, novels and even a sorority composite from the 1980s in the woods.
On Monday, Holubinka revealed that 88 bags of trash were collected and that together they weighed 980 pounds, almost half a ton. Compared to other suburban cities, the parks in Newark are relatively clean Holubinka said. Nevertheless, a 980 pound cleanup is still impressive.
At 11 years old, Nathan Grendhal was the youngest participant at the cleanup.
“I want to help clean up Newark because I think it’s the right thing to do and I’m trying to make the world cleaner,” he said.