Ashford Conservation Commission Cleans Up Roads For Nature And Beauty
What do you do when you notice that debris is piling up in your roads? Do you leave it or just complain about it? For the Ashford Conservation Commission, the answer is you organize a group of interested residents to get out trash bags and take charge of the cleanliness of your town.
Over three days in March and April, Loretta Wrobel, Chair of the Ashford Conservation Commission and Pamm Summers, a resident of Ashford, did just that. Loretta told CT&C via email that over the three work days they had collected 112 bags of trash, which they estimate to be 1,680 pounds of trash.
“Our goal is to encourage people to get out and take care of their roads and educate the people about the dangerous impact of plastic on our environment,” she told us.
Volunteers were given all the accoutrements to safely collect the refuse that collects on the sides of the road including gloves, pick up sticks, and safety vests, and were given the option of cleaning a street of their choosing or participating in group cleanups of highly affected areas. These were provided with a grant from The Last Green Valley, and additional support was given by the Ashford Business Association.
It bears being said that the efforts by these civically-minded individuals show a care for nature and the well-being of a town that goes above and beyond, there are some pesky habits that cause the trash to pile up in the first place.
Prime suspects back to top
Of course, the prime suspects are litterers, especially those in vehicles that toss all sorts of things from their cars. This includes cigarette butts, which are the most commonly littered item on earth, accounting for a whopping 38% of all U.S. roadway litter, according to the Keep America Beautiful organization. Additionally, if not properly disposed of, they can be a fire hazard in wooded areas.
One tip is to keep an ashtray in the car that can easily be removed from the car and disposed of properly. Drivers should keep a trash bag for all other litter in your car.
Additionally, one of the other major culprits of roadside litter is trash or recycling that didn’t make it into the garbage trucks. Making sure that all trash is in bags and that recyclables like paper are properly bundled can prevent much of the scatter that you see. Simple practices like recycling, reuse, and composting will greatly reduce the amount of trash that households throw away each month.
“Next year we hope to involve the school, perhaps having the children make posters,” Loretta said, and they are looking to form a committee to ban plastic bags in Ashford.
Even in the best of all worlds, debris and litter will still find its way onto our streets. Thankfully there are people out there like Loretta Wrobel and Pamm Summers to help clean up and lead by example.