Over 500 people hit the streets for KNAB’s town-wide cleanup

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Don Kiehl and his granddaughter Shaya clear some trash in the woods off of Landry Avenue. Don said he’s been part of the cleanup for three years and is disappointed to see so much trash being dumped. Staff Photo/Max Bowen
North Attleboro - Plainville Rotary Club is seeking out this year's Rotary Club distinguished Service Awards Recipients

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Those driving around North Attleborough Saturday morning likely saw several people in yellow T-shirts collecting garbage.

Those were the 550 volunteers who signed up for Keep North Attleborough Beautiful’s annual Great American Cleanup. Held on May 6, several spots around town notorious for being filled with litter were cleaned up. Full bags were left along the side of the road, where they were later picked up.

Marsha Goldstein, executive director for KNAB, said the event went very well and she gave the enthusiastic volunteers a lot of credit.

“We’re thrilled for the volunteers, they work really hard,” she said on Sunday.

On Landry Avenue, Don Kiehl and his granddaughter Shaya were among the many people picking up trash in the area. Don said he’s been part of the cleanup for the last three years and found nip bottles, paper cups, and other refuse in the woods near the street.

“I don’t like to see a lot of trash all over the pace,” he said.

When he and Shaya cleared one piece of trash, they’d soon find another, and another, and more.

“I’m angry that people are this lazy (about trash),” Don said. “They should keep it in their car and dispose of it later.”

Many groups could be seen along John Dietsch Boulevard. Julie Disstler and Michelle Lucas were volunteering with others from Elliot Physical Therapy. After hearing of the cleanup, Disstler said it was a “good way to give back to the community that we support every day.”

The two said they found fast food wrappers, bottles, and even small car parts along the road.

Down that same street, a six-person group from Mosquito Shield’s North Attleborough office had filled 10 bags by 10 a.m. E.J. Smith, who runs that office, along with those in Central Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Middlesex, said this was their first time taking part and was surprised to find so much trash near their office on Towne Street.

“When you drive by, you don’t see that amount of debris hidden here—it’s sad,” she said.

Boy Scout Troop 23 from the Episcopal Church had arranged a group of more than a dozen people to help near North Attleborough’s downtown area. They began on High Street, then moved down West Street and ended at the Community School. Pat Motto, the Scoutmaster, said one of the goals of Scouting is conservation of the outdoors. Along with bottles and cups, the group found several shingles from a nearby condemned building on High Street.

“We want to be considerate of the outdoors,” he said. “It’s sort of our code.”

After 10 years the cleanup seems just as necessary as before. Goldstein said she doesn’t a change in the amount of trash collected, and wonders if people are getting the message. During her cleanup near Wild Acre Road, she found a bag of trash containing bottles and cans left in a tree. Even so, she said the cleanup will continue, as the need is clearly there.

“We’ll keep doing it,” she said. “We’re not giving up—by no means.”

Keep North Attleborough Beautiful is always looking for volunteers for its ongoing Litter Busters program. Contact Margaret Vigorito at KNABlitterbusters@gmail.com for more information.