Hundreds volunteer to collect trash all over North Attleborough

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Amy Arnold collects trash alongside Landry Avenue as part of Saturday's Great American Cleanup in North Attleborough. The event was organized by Keep North Attleborough Beautiful. All told, 467 volunteers spent the morning on different sections of the town deemed to be in need of cleaning. Staff Photo/Max Bowen
Lucas Hutchins (left) and his father Tim work with fellow members of North Attleborough’s Troop 33 to clean up part of Robert F. Toner Boulevard for the Great American Cleanup on Saturday, May 1. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

A veritable army of volunteers donned their blue T-shirts to help beautify up the town as part of the North Attleborough Cleanup.

Also known as the Great American Cleanup, the annual event returned in a big way, with nearly 500 people spending the morning of Saturday, May 1, filling trash bags. They worked in teams in different parts of town, including Landry Avenue, Robert F. Toner Boulevard, Route 1, Allen Avenue, and Ellis Road.

The trash collected was picked up by the town’s Department of Public Works and Solid Waste Department, and the entire event organized by Keep North Attleborough Beautiful.

Last year’s cleanup had to be suspended due to the pandemic, and smaller cleanups were organized in the spring and fall. This year’s cleanup saw many joining for the first time, such as Julie Almonte, who worked with her family on John Dietsch Boulevard. She said it was a good activity for her kids and a way to help the town. Among the trash collected they found a lighter, bottles, lots of cardboard and bags.

I’m surprised at the variety (of trash),” said Almonte.

On Landry Avenue, several groups could be seen filling bags. Anastasia Rasulova and her family live in Sharon and had missed the town’s cleanup, but saw a way to help with another. She said her daughter was excited to do it, and was up early with her gloves, ready to go. They found several bottles, fishing line, and a sign among the refuse.

We have spots in Sharon like this,” she said, referring to areas where dumping happens.

Julie Almonte finds some waterlogged cardboard while she and her family cleaned up a section of John Dietsch Boulevard. This was their first time participating in the annual town cleanup, and she was surprised by how much trash that was found. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

Students from North Attleborough High School were among the teams out on Saturday. Tory Connors, Emily Burnham, Samantha Hardy, and Kelsey Thompson volunteered as part of a project where they focused on a current issue. They chose pollution and volunteered to both spread awareness and help solve the problem. The students worked on Landry Avenue and among the things they found were a vehicle tire.

There’s a lot of stuff that you wouldn’t think there would be on the side of the road,” said Burnham. “Like milk bottles and tires.”

On Robert F. Toner Boulevard and Commonwealth Avenue, members of North Attleborough’s Boy Scout Troop 33 filled several trash bags as part of their service hours. Maureen Titore, whose son Liam is a Scout, was upset by all the trash that they found. The group began in the field next to The Answer is Fitness and worked their way down the roads.

It’s a nice thing to do for the environment,” said Maureen. “There’s such a need for it.”

Tim Hutchins is a committee member with Troop 33 and said that the group is always looking for ways to serve the community, which is part of the Boy Scout program.

It’s good to teach them (the Scouts) civic responsibility,” he said.

Emily Burnahm (left) and Kelsey Thompson collected trash during the May 1 Great American Cleanup as part of a project for a class at North Attleborough High School. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

Amy Arnold and her friend Heather McCarron also worked on Landry Avenue. Amy’s daughter Molly invited several of her friends to join her, as May 1 was also her birthday. Amy found vape pens, alcohol bottles, and even a bag of human waste.

It doesn’t surprise me that there’s still such a trash issue,” said Amy. “I don’t know why people throw things out their windows, it’s gross.”

Even though the cleanup has been around for years, dumping along the roads remains a serious problem. Amy said that were it not for this event, the problem would be more severe.

So far we filled three trash bags, and just think if we hadn’t done that,” said Amy. “How much worse would accumulate and it would just be that much grosser.”