MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – The Whippany River Watershed Action Committee (WRWAC) announced Wednesday that a 20-foot trash container tossed into the Whippany River in Morristown by Tropical Storm Irene will be removed on August 3 through a philanthropic partnership with two New Jersey companies.
Global Container Terminals of Hudson County and Kyle Conti Construction of Hillsborough Township are donating their time and services toward the effort, which involves driving heavy equipment down a dried portion of the river bed to the dumpster and pulling it out. The dumpster was moved to the location by strong floods along Ridgedale Avenue during Irene in 2011, and it landed at a point behind commercial property along Lindsey Drive.
“We are very eager to help by volunteering our equipment, time and services to extract this container from the river,” said Kyle Conti of Kyle Conti Construction. “The plan is to use a non-invasive machine to lift and move the container. One piece of equipment will go in and out – once – instead of making multiple trips.”
WRWAC, Trout Unlimited and other environmental and historic groups had sought for years to remove the hunk of metal. It landed in an area near historic Patriot’s Path and the site of Jacob Ford Jr.’s 1776 Powder Mill, a Revolutionary War era operation that provided gunpowder to the Continental Army. One previous proposal submitted to WRWAC for the job was estimated at $10,000.
“After the first proposal for $10,000, which was cost-prohibitive, I thought we’d never get this thing out,” said WRWAC Facilitator Alison Deeb. “Now, we can ‘cast off’ and ‘reel it in and out.’ The River will be cleaner, the historic path more aesthetic, and even the fish will be happier!”
Global Container and Conti Construction eventually got involved, according to Deeb, because of some professional networking, creative connections and vigilance. John Atkins of Mendham, who is affiliated with Global Container, read a news article about the dumpster and contacted Deeb. Atkins also is the father of of WRWAC Intern Brigid Atkins.
Atkins enlisted Conti, and the WRWAC has obtained legal access and support from the Morris County Park Commission and the Governor Morris Office Center located at 25 Lindsley Drive, Morristown to retrieve the container by accessing the office center property.
“We are grateful that the Whippany River Watershed Action Committee has stayed vigilant on this issue and matters that relate to a healthier river,” said David Helmer, Executive Director of the Morris County Park Commission.
“We are grateful to Alison for staying on top of this project,” says Siva Jonnada, WRWAC Chair. “A previous proposal involved cutting the dumpster into pieces and hauling it out making multiple trips, so this proposal is much more eco-friendly.”
The Whippany River Watershed Action Committee is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve, protect and maintain the land and water resources of the Whippany River. Learn more, click here.