History Spotlight: Taking out the Garbage

In celebration of KELT’s 30th Anniversary, we are sharing historical snippets and stories. Our spotlights will highlight moments in local environmental history to show how far we have come conserving, restoring, and appreciating the lands and waters of the Kennebec Estuary region.

Photo courtesy of Kathy Gravino.

Photo courtesy of Kathy Gravino.


Taking the Garbage Out, 1957

Summer and year-round residents on Bay Point, in Georgetown, and all along the Maine coast, dumped their household garbage directly into the Kennebec River, where it flows out into the Gulf of Maine. This was described as “a regular activity and a great social event” where residents would wave at their friendly neighbors on their way to pre-determined household garbage dumping sites. This documentation of such casual, unintended-yet-harmful pollution serves as a valuable reminder of the progress that Maine’s rivers have made in the past 50+ years.


Have a cool photo from years past of the estuary, Merrymeeting Bay, or surrounding lands? Want to share with us a story from the past?

Share photos, maps, stories, etc. with Becky at bkolak@kennebecestuary.org or call 207-442-8400.

Becky Kolak