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Brigantine man honored for turning trash into art

  • Community

A Brigantine man who is cleaning up with art had received the New Jersey Clean Communities Council's Excellence in Education award.

photo  Eduardo Jimenez

The statewide litter-abatement program honored Eduardo Jimenez for his work with the Brigantine Clean Communities Volunteer Cleanup Team.

Jimenez began his endeavour in early 2020, taking the trash he would find on the beach and turning it into pop art.

His Instagram is filled with the hauls he has fashioned into fish with whatever trash he "fished" from the beach.

“His seaside salvage project now boasts permanent works including commissions and juried art contest entries,” said council Executive Director JoAnn Gemenden.

Jimenez was honored at the second annual New Jersey Sustainability in Motion Conference in Atlantic City, which attracted hundreds of attendees from across the state.

photo  Jimenez makes fish out of the trash he "fishes" from the beach. He also includes a cigarette butts count on many. There are 48 here, he writes.



Jimenez walks the beach in Brigantine nearly every day with a picker and bucket, collecting litter. 

He makes temporary art out of what he collects before disposing of it. 

“Eduardo began posting pictures of this litter art on his Instagram page,” Gemenden said. “As these posts grew in popularity, Eduardo began focusing on the most problematic items he finds, such as single-use plastics.”

Jimenez has made numerous sea animals from things like plastic bags and straws.

He has also organized educational campaigns in Brigantine focusing on balloons, cigarette butts and face masks. He uses these posts to promote litter abatement and reduction of waste.

“Eduardo's temporary art became so popular that he even decided to make some permanent installations,” Gemenden said, noting he displays art at community events. 

photo  Minwax Helmsman Can fish that includes 38 cigarette butts.


He had his first art show displayed at the Camden fireworks, featuring reclaimed pallet wood and matting made from littered balloons.

Jimenez also collects discarded beach toys, such as shovels and pails. He cleans and fixes them, 

before donating them to needy children. 

These items would have otherwise become ocean litter.

“Pollution, in the form of improperly discarded trash, is my medium,” Jimenez said. “My use of face masks, cigarette butts, plastic bottles, mylar balloons and other litter is intended to create awareness, discussion and perhaps bring forth solutions for coastal conservation.”

He believes creating art that may be uncomfortable to view will spread his message about coastal conservation and lessen the growing threat caused by litter.

Learn more at or

photo  Eduardo Jimenez, second from left, with NJCCC Vice Chair John Wohlrab, Chair Linda Doherty and Executive Director JoAnn Gemende.


Lynda Cohen

Lynda Cohen founded BreakingAC after working as a local newspaper reporter for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

Sunday, May 19, 2024
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