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Green Up week starts May 1 and the actual Green Up Day is Saturday, May 5. With the incredible heat wave that passed through Vermont in March, we have an early window into what needs to be done on May 5.
With the snow completely gone on the sides of our roads, the trash problem has been revealed. We can see it everywhere we drive or walk or bicycle. The weather has been nearly ideal for putting a kayak in the river and those who braved the cold currents have seen our trash from a different perspective.
You may have seen some VTrans crews out there picking up trash earlier in March, and you may have seen some of your friends and neighbors getting a jump on Green Up Day. In Warren, just north of the village along Route 100, you may have seen a few neat piles of trash collected by citizen volunteers and some unknown kayakers. Signs were placed on the trash piles which read "Get A Jump On Green Up Day." I think VTrans put up the signs, and then a few days later picked up the trash.
There is a great deal more to be done. When you are out walking carry a trash bag with you or set out on a mission to clean at least one stretch of a road nearest to you. We can get the roads clean before Green Up Day. In my view, every day should be Green Up Day.
Here are a few guidelines for trolling for trash: Dress appropriately for the weather. Wear sturdy boots or high rubber boots if you are going somewhere muddy. Wear gloves for protection from broken glass, sharp metal pieces and bacteria in the dirt. Carry two bags with you and sort while you pick up. Eighty percent of the roadside trash is likely to be 5 cent bottles or cans with the majority of that being empty beer cans like Bud or PBR. Do not pick up or move any dead animals or birds.
These should be reported to the town clerk or a state official. Good idea to work in teams of two or more. You may see a lot of trash over the embankment and not easy to reach. Do not go down the embankment without considering the difficulty you may have in getting back up.
Large and heavy objects like tires should be flagged for later pick-up or if possible moved to the side of the road where they will be visible and can be picked up by your town's road crew. Bagged roadside trash can be turned in to the collection center on Green Up Day for free. You should not have to pay the $5 per bag fee if it is roadside trash. If you want to turn it in before Green Up Day and not pay the fee you can call your town clerk and see if they will allow you to bring it to one of their dumpsters.
For those of you who cannot get a jump on Green Up Day, please mark your calendar and get involved on May 5. Thank you.
Lobel lives in Warren.