BETHANY, Conn. (WTNH) — Volunteers of all ages came out Saturday to clean up the streets of Bethany during the town’s annual Earth Day event.
“Rid Litter Day” is a decades-old, volunteer-led community event held in conjunction with Earth Day.
Volunteers don reflective vests, gloves, and (during the pandemic) facemasks to collect trash and debris along the side of roads in town.
Volunteers noted, “It’s amazing and disturbing just how much trash is discarded from passing cars especially along the through roads. It really is disappointing that people think littering is okay.”
The event has proven popular over the years, and especially so during the pandemic with the need for social distancing. Organizers say the pandemic has encouraged those cooped up inside to take walks where they have noticed the roadside trash.
This year, the around 70 volunteers included those aged 3-80, neighbors, families, and even town selectmen and town hall officials.
Volunteers collected trash along main roads in town such as Routes 69 and 42, and roads in their own neighborhoods.
Organizers say, in total, volunteers Saturday picked up over a ton of garbage, which filled nearly three dump trucks.
Some of the stranger items found dumped on the side of the road included a pink pool noodle, a realistic-looking plastic Halloween spider, a fully painted beer pong table, an in-tact cane, one half of a pair of men’s heavy-duty boots, and VHS tapes of adult films. Organizers will be awarding a gift card to the team they deem found the strangest trash item.
The Lions Club of Bethany has been a long-time contributor to Rid Litter Day both with funding and helping organize the event.
This is the second year the event has gone on amid the COVID-19 pandemic.