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Volunteers pitch in to clear trash from local roadways on Green-Up Day

Members of Cub Scout Pack 209, along with one of their older counterparts from the Boy Scouts, joined in efforts to clear trash from Littleton's roads during Green-Up Day. (Photo by Justin Roshak) (click for larger version)
April 25, 2018
LITTLETON — A 'green-up day' opened the spring cleaning season in fine form last week, and flushed a veritable mountain of trash from the roads and parks of Littleton last Saturday.

The main effort was coordinated by Littleton Parks and Rec, under the leadership of new Director Chris Wilkins. Teams of students, parents, grandparents, and citizens fanned out from Remich Park at 9 am. In all, some 40 volunteers lent a hand, half of whom were kids, according to Wilkins.

The 'green-up' celebrated Earth Day, the Sunday after.

The day began with a safety briefing from the Littleton Police Department. Det. Scott Powers described what to do if anyone found a discarded "one-pot" lab, essentially a bottle filled with chemicals and sealed to create a chemical reaction and produce home-made methamphetamine. In the course of the day, teams called in several suspected one-pots, which were checked by Powers for telltale chemicals. Thankfully, none were active or currently hazardous.

According to Wilkins, the majority of the trash was bottles. Metal and tires were also common. Beer cans, likely thrown by a thoughtless driver or passenger, were another typical find along the roads. Wilkins hoped citizens would take note and exercise greater responsibility, both with their trash, and with their driving safety.

More sinister waste was uncovered as well; a total of six needles were discovered and sealed by trained team leaders.

Though he has helped out with clean-ups in the past, this was Wilkins' first time leading such a large effort. He particularily hailed the teamwork of Cub Scout Troop 209, who cleaned up around the river.

"They did a great job," Wilkins said, adding, "What a great day we had for the event."

Cleanup volunteer and local business owner Carrie Gendreau hoped that the students who took part would encourage their peers to be more responsible with their trash. She praised their hard work.

A separate, though complimentary effort at the Littleton Coin Company netted 200 pounds.

All in all, across Littleton, volunteers picked up some 748 pounds of trash in total, packed into 84 bags, on Saturday. Transfer Station Manager and Littleton clean-up veteran Brian Patnoe reckoned that this year's haul was about equal to last year's. The transfer station purchased many trash-grabbers out of its normal budget, for volunteers to use, and bags were donated by recycling club NH the Beautiful.

Local businesses Topic of the Town and Little Village Book Shop volunteered gift cards for a volunteer raffle, and Wal-Mart provided burgers and accompaniments for hungry volunteers at the post-cleanup cookout.

For Littleton students who took part, the morning's work will count toward their community service graduation requirement.

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