Volunteers hit the streets for Great American Cleanup
By Max Bowen
Yellow shirts could be seen on many a road Saturday morning as volunteers turned out for the annual Great American Cleanup in North Attleborough.
From 9 a.m.-noon, people filled trash bags with refuse of all kinds along areas such as Elm Street, Fales Road, Cumberland Avenue, and Chestnut Street. Once filled, bags were left by the side of the road to be collected by Department of Public Works drivers.
At the corner of Elm Street and Route 1, Ed and Sandy Vandette worked near the river. They got involved last year when Sandy’s workplace became a sponsor for the cleanup. The two found mostly bottles and paper cups along the road.
“It’s a shame that people can’t keep it [the trash] in their cars when they go to the restaurants,” said Ed.
Down the road near the intersection of Elm and Maple streets, Tiffany Manning and her daughter Grace worked an area close to their home. They found car parts, wine bottles, and even a used diaper. In the first hour they filled four trash bags.
“Someone has to care,” said Tiffany.
Saturday was Grace’s birthday, and even so, she wanted to spend the day on the cleanup.
“It’s destroying the environment, all the plastic and trash,” she said.
As one drove the town’s streets, people wearing the yellow shirts of the Great American Cleanup, now in its seventh year, could be seen hard at work. On Fales Road, Terese Reynolds, Christine Iconis, and Heather LaFreniere walked, bags in hand, stopping to pick up trash along the way. They have been involved in the cleanup for the last six years, and said people sometimes stop as they’re driving by to thank them.
“This is a great area to clear,” said Iconis.
After the cleanup was complete, the volunteers went to the high school for pizza and to talk about the day. Dee Heaton worked near Elmwood Street knowing there would be a lot of trash in the area. During the cleanup, she found a pair of hubcaps that had been there so long, trees had begun to grow through them.
“No one takes care of it [the area],” she said.
Sahil Yadav and his family spent the morning working together. He said it was important for his children to take pride in the town and keep the cleanup going.
“They should take care of the town they live in,” he said.
Marsha Goldstein, the founder of the cleanup, said approximately 650 people volunteered that day. She echoed Yadav’s sentiment that the cleanup can have an impact on the children by showing them the effects of litter in the community.
“People come out and it’s so gratifying,” she said