BENNINGTON — Volunteers will take to the streets and back roads Saturday to pick up roadside litter as part of Vermont’s annual Green Up Day.
At Bennington Subaru on North Bennington Road, volunteers will be asked to give their names so they can be directed to a stretch of road, said Bennington SubaruBusinessManager Tommy Lions. He said the dealership has 500 bags to give out, along with a dumpster for people to deposit them in, should they opt not to leave them on the side of the road to be picked up.
Lions said Subaru of New England is a sponsor of Green Up Day for the Bennington region. From noon to about 3 p.m., he said, a cookout will be in progress for volunteers at the dealership.
Kelly Lemieux, administrative assistant at the Bennington Town Office, said the office has already given out 250 bags to Green Up volunteers.
In Manchester, volunteers are asked to show up at the Northshire Bookstore parking lot at 9 a.m., according to a release from the town offices. About 15 cleanup routes have been identified, in addition to projects at the Town Green and Recreation Area.
The routes will be “salted” with colored blocks, which children can exchange for prizes that have been donated by local businesses. There will also be a trash sculpture contest with the theme “Make Music with Trash.” The sculptures will be made of garbage collected along routes.
At noon, hot dogs and ice cream will be served at the garden area near the bookstore, courtesy of the Spiral Press Café. According to the release, with the help of Casella Waste Management, tires will be accepted at the Merchant’s Bank parking lot between 9 a.m. and noon. Tires will be taken at the rate of $3 for a regular car or truck tire and $5 for a large truck tire.
Should rain cancel the event, cleanup will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Similar prizes are being offered in Shaftsbury, said Karen Mellinger,a member of the SelectBoard. Toy lady bugs will be scattered among the roadside trash and canbe exchangedfor prizes. She said every year the town receives 200 Green Up bags and uses them all up. She said about 100 people participate.
Volunteers should gather at Cole Hall between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Trash can be dropped off there or at the transfer station, in addition to other sites around town.
For Pownal Green Up volunteers, trash can be taken to the Pownal Transfer Station between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Bags will be at the Town Offices or the station. There will be no roadside pick up. Select Board Administrative Assistant Linda Sciarappa said it would be helpful if people called the Town Offices or transfer station to sign up ahead of time, although it is not necessary.
In Sunderland, volunteers are asked to be at the Town Garage between 7 a.m. and noon. Select Board member and Road Foreman James Ennis said coffee, tea, lemonade and doughnuts will be available at the garage. Ennis said about 25 people usually participate, but the Orvis Co. in Manchester generally funnels about 70 volunteers to the town.
In Sandgate, Green Up bags will be available at Town Hall starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, along with coffee and doughnuts. The town trucks will be loading all trash collected and leaving for the transfer station at 2 p.m. Anyone with questions, call Jack Quinn, Sandgate Green Up Day coordinator, at 375-9655.
According to www.greenupvermont.org, the first Green Up Day was held April 18, 1970. It was suggested to then-Gov. Deane C. Davis by Burlington Free Press reporter Robert S. Babcock, who was appalled by the amount of litter he saw on the side of the highway while driving from his home in Waterbury to the Statehouse in Montpelier.
Reprinted with permission from The Bennington Banner, written by KEITH WHITCOMB JR., Tuesday April 27, 2010