WANTAGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Volunteers headed out Saturday to clean beaches around New York and New Jersey, in an effort to help communities recover and rebuild in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, people of all ages came to Jones Beach in Nassau County to help clean up the mess left by Sandy. One volunteer said as long as he can pick it up, he will clean it up.

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WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports

The event, called Waves of Action, is held annually. But it is normally undertaken much earlier in the year, and the cleanup is much different – focusing on bottles, cigarette butts and soda cans.

But David Pittinger found different items left because of the storm.

“A chunk of roof in here from somewhere,” he said. “In that pile, there’s just more building material than you would think, probably from some of the structures here at the park.”

Volunteer Nick Mallos said the debris was a reminder of the devastating destruction wrought by the storm.

“It’s really a reminder of the remnants that of the damage that took place here and that the devastation up and down the coast is tremendous and these types of cleanups, these type of recovery efforts are going to be necessary,” he said.

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Anything large that the group could not clean up was marked, so beach authorities could clearly see it as debris that needed to be removed.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

Other efforts were in progress from Cape May to the Jersey Shore, to Hampton Bay.

“There’s a lot of marine debris that comes up on the beaches, so this is kind of that to the extreme,” said Zach McCue of Clean Ocean Action.

Altogether, volunteers were dispatched to more than 40 locations.

“If this doesn’t get cleaned up in a timely way, who knows how long it can stay there,” McCue said.

Volunteers will also be out at parks along streams and in homes.

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Did you take part in the volunteer effort? Please leave your comments below…