Trash left behind after fireworks ruins the holiday mood for boaters and residents

On Friday night, thousands gathered amid clear skies and comfortable weather to enjoy the annual Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club fireworks display. The show was generally applauded by those in attendance, who cheered loudly, rang cowbells, and honked boat horns throughout the 30-minute spectacle.

What was less welcome was the debris that remained after the show and into Saturday morning.

“It was disgusting,” said Sandy Rosevear, who noticed the debris on her way to and from her River Styx home. “The Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club puts on this beautiful show, and this is what’s left behind? People should be ashamed.”

Brian Murphy and his family left their Bertrand Island summer rental home on a Saturday morning boat ride and ended up picking up several garbage bags’ worth of trash that was left floating around the lake. “It was as if people just dumped all of their garbage overboard,” he said.

Daughter Meghan Murphy, 12, recalled helping to gather wine bottles, plastic cups, and nearly full bags of marshmallows—”a lot of stuff that doesn’t go overboard by accident,” she said.

Ralph De Rosa said he and his wife, Tina, also collected bags worth of debris on Saturday. “It really kills the mood of the holiday weekend,” he said. “People need to know that this isn’t acceptable.”

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