Town cleanup breaks record in garbage removal

By Louis Bettcher | May 07, 2018
Courtesy of: Marci Casas Marci Casas, far right, presents a prize to the "Environmental Cleanup Crew" for their participation in this spring's cleanup.

Rockport — Keep Rockport Beautiful organizer Marci Casas estimates that this spring's roadside cleanup resulted in at least 4,000 pounds of garbage being bagged and removed from the streets of Rockport.

The 4,000 pounds includes approximately 1,750 pounds of waste gathered throughout town by over 100 volunteers on April 27 and 28. Roughly 2,000 pounds of debris was also picked up along Routes 1, 17 and 90 by the Maine Department of Transportation and a crew from Buldoc Correctional facility.

"We are confident that 4,000 pounds of trash was collected in total. This number is bittersweet considering it’s the seventh cleanup event that we’ve held. The number of poundage continues to climb instead of decrease suggesting that littering is on the rise," said Casas on May 7.

The April spring clean-up is one of two community efforts organized by Keep Rockport Beautiful each year -- the second will take place at the end of September. Casas estimates that the 2017 spring and fall cleanups combined totaled 5,000 pounds.

Not included in the 4,000 pound figure is the weight of any returnable bottles which were removed from roadsides over the weekend; the bottles were taken to redemption centers and any profits were reinvested in supplies for future Keep Rockport Beautiful events. Old County Road and portions of Mill Street and South Street will be cleaned later this spring.

New this spring was an incentive sponsored by the Study Hall in Rockport which offered cash prizes to volunteer teams who picked up and bagged the most cigarettes. The "Bag the Butts" competition yielded over 17 pounds of cigarettes.

On April 25 Casas presented the top prize of $250 to Larry Miller, president of the Simonton Corner Grange Hill, who plans to use the money for revitalization efforts. The other winning teams were Camden National Bank and a group of students from Camden Hills Regional High School -- the "Environmental Cleanup Crew."

Although the totals from this year's cleanup suggest that more waste is being thrown from vehicles, Casas said Keep Rockport Beautiful looks ahead to their fall event. Chief of Police Randy Gagne released a statement reminding citizens of the fines associated with littering, and Casas has worked with students throughout the community on conservation projects.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Dale Hayward | May 07, 2018 17:15

And all of this is because someone out there does not care about keeping our towns clean and neat. Shame, shame, shame. I wonder what the actual costs would be to replace the 17 pounds of butts with the actual cigarettes? That's a lot of potential cancer and other illnesses.

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