Plastic disks on beach - updated 2011.04.13

It appears that the plastic disks are no longer appearing in large numbers after last week.  This matches what other Cape towns are seeing.  Thank you for all your efforts in protecting Brewster's beaches.  We expect to see some stragglers and disks that will uncover for months to come; please continue to remove them as any other plastic debris.  We plan to do some limited cleaning the week of April 17th and will post if conditions change. 

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The Natural Resources Department began receiving reports of small white plastic disks on Brewster beaches this weekend.  On Monday March 28th we organized a beach cleanup and removed more than 6,300 of them.  By Wednesday, more than 20,000 had been removed from Brewster beaches.  Volunteers continue to work at removing them from our beaches.  We want to thank the volunteers assisting with the cleanup, and ask that you continue to remove them this week.   We expect to have consultants assisting the cleanup on Wednesday.  The numbers appear to be dropping.

The disks were used by a wastewater treatment facility up in Hooksett, New Hampshire.  According to The Associated Press, in early March between 4 million and 8 million disks and about 250,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater were released from the town-owned plant in Hooksett, N.H., into the Merrimack River after heavy rain.  The disks have been reported from Maine down along the Massachusetts coast.

The disks may have some bacteria remaining on them, so it is recommended to not handle them with bare hands.  They can be disposed in normal trash.  DNR staff and volunteers will continue to work to remove them from the beaches this week.  If you wish to assist, it would be greatly appreciated.

Natural resources will continue to monitor the beaches and will organize another cleanup once we determine the magnitude of the issue.