Volunteers help pick up litter

Published 10:36 pm Friday, April 27, 2012

Hayden Hill picks up litter along Bennett’s Pasture Road on Friday during the Great American Cleanup. Hill said she tries not to get angry about litter because anger doesn’t solve the problem.

A handful of volunteers converged on two different sites in Suffolk on Friday to help pick up litter.

The event was part of the Great American Cleanup, a Keep America Beautiful program.

Volunteers piled bags and debris on Factory Street after picking it up out of Shingle Creek. A few miles away, Bennett’s Pasture Road also was lined with orange bags filled with litter and a pile of seven tires.

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Three volunteers cleaned along Bennett’s Pasture Road throughout the morning.

“I’m trying really hard to not get angry about it,” said Hayden Hill. “Anger is not a good problem-solving emotion.”

Even so, she said, she couldn’t help but be baffled at the number of recyclable items thrown out of the window by passing cars and the sheer volume of polystyrene foam and other disposable containers.

“There has to be a dialogue where people value things differently,” she said. “There’s no reason to put your trash out here. There’s absolutely no reason for it but selfishness.”

The trio collected about 10 bags full of trash and lined them up along the street to be picked up later by Public Works personnel.

“We are a very wasteful society,” said Kathy Russell, who works for TFC Recycling and is on the city’s Clean Community Commission. “We’ve got to be good stewards of the earth. People need to adopt a highway.”

Robin R. Moore, a technical asset manager with the city, said the annual cleanup shows that everyone’s efforts count, no matter how large or small.

“I think we did good today,” she said. “It sends a message that it doesn’t take a million people to make a difference.”

Hill said everyone needs to become involved in litter control to stop the problem.

“If people could all litter in just one place, it would be fine,” she said. “Oh, wait. We have that. It’s called a trashcan.”

For your family or group to adopt a highway or spot in Suffolk, call 514-7604.