Volunteers at the first town-wide cleanup day overfilled a 130-yard compactor, and needed even more space, selectmen reported Thursday.
And in addition to at least 275 registered volunteers, members of the highway department donated their Saturday to the event, driving trucks around to pick up bags left at the roadside by the many groups, teams, and individuals who pitched in.
“It went off without a hitch,” said Mary Steele. She commented she herself was picking up across the street from a local convenience store, and ended up bagging countless discarded lottery tickets.
“They are making money on this trash, and we are picking it up,” she said. Steele suggested the board get the message out that businesses who generate trash should “be more diligent” about removing it from woods and roadsides nearby.
Robert Kimball said he was bagging trash on Pine Street near his home and was impressed by the volume of certain kinds of discards. “I don’t know who is drinking those nips,” he said, “but there were a lot of them.”
Another common item, he noted, was the common styrofoam coffee cup. He suggested businesses should be urged to use something else whenever possible, because styrofoam never breaks down.
Kimball also said in future cleanup efforts the groups might want to use two different kinds of bags – one for regular trash, and another for redeemable bottles and cans.
He said he thought the number of volunteers was far more than the registered number. The cleanup day had 33 sponsors, covered 32 streets, and did it all in three hours. The highway department volunteers were also out in trucks on Monday, retrieving the rest of the bags.
Selectmen will invite some of the volunteers involved, including highway department members, in to a future meeting for a report and an official thank-you from the board.
Residents are also reminded of the town’s Household Hazardous Waste day at the rear of Town Hall on May 12, from 9 a.m. to noon. The event accepts numerous household items that cannot be disposed of in the regular trash, but excludes latex paint, smoke detectors, commercial and industrial waste, ammunition and explosives, fire extinguishers, and pressurized containers other than propane.
For more information, call the board of health number, 508 285-0263.
The flyer is available on the Norton MA website, www.nortonma.org.