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Volunteer Litter Cleanup Week Sweeps up the Trash

During the week of April 21-28, South Plainfield citizens came together to welcome spring by seeking out and bagging the nasty litter that shames our wildflowers. This ritual has been enacted annually for over thirty years. Volunteer Litter Cleanup Week is a signature event in South Plainfield’s Clean Communities Calendar. This year, 180 volunteers showed up on Saturday, April 21 to remove accumulated litter and trash from the Borough’s roadsides, parks, open spaces and municipal facilities. Scout troops, families, students, non-profit organizations; businesses, politicians – all sectors of the Borough were represented. By the end of the week, 50 more people had cleaned another 7 spots. Altogether, they filled 295 orange trash bags with litter and recyclables. They cleaned 8 miles of roadside and 76 acres of parks and woods at 36 locations. The Department of Public Works collected the bags from all over town and took them to the transfer station for disposal, where they weighed in at 1.6 tons. Some volunteers commented that there did not seem to be as much litter this year, and the collection did weigh less than last year’s 2.0 tons. Hopefully, that is the beginning of a trend. Or, it could be a result of the spring’s heavy rainstorms, which may have washed rafts of floatable litter downstream to Piscataway and beyond. The post-cleanup Pickup Picnic was set up in borough hall. The South Plainfield Green Team’s table in the lobby had information about keeping litter out of the storm drains, and car emissions out of the air. A carnival wheel was an attraction in the Court Room. Cleanup volunteers had a chance to spin the wheel and answer the question that came up under their number. Those who answered correctly received an environmentally friendly prize such as a recycled-content notebook or steel drink bottle. Educator Dave Street treated the crowd to a presentation of “Where Does It Come From?”, the Clean Communities Advisory Board’s animated PowerPoint about the sources of our litter problem. Written and directed by Dave, the show used local actors and was photographed on-site in the Borough. Environmental Commission members and the Mayor and Council served pizza, sandwiches and soda to the hungry workers. Papa John’s donated some of the pizza and the McCriskin-Gustafson Funeral Home donated the rest. Charlie and Debbie Kurland of Home Town Heros donated two large plates of sandwiches. A free raffle of gifts, including a beautiful Anthurium in full flower, entertained the volunteers. Groups that participated in Cleanup Week: Adopt-A-Spotters included the South Plainfield Business Association, the Roseo Family, the Bourbeau Family, South Plainfield Lions Club, and Stillman Photography Services. Scouts included Girl Scout Troops 65117, 65136, 65142, 65167, 65199 and 65410; Cub Scout Packs 207 and 224 and Boy Scout Troops 124 and 309. Non-profits and other organizations included the South Plainfield Democratic Organization, the South Plainfield Lions Club, the NJ Buddha Light Cultural Center, the South Plainfield Environmental Commission, the South Plainfield Green Team, the South Plainfield Republican Organization, Impact Church, the Keystone Vocational Program, and the Nu Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. From the educational sector, we had the High School National Honor Society and the South Plainfield Middle School. Harris Realty, Jack Pedersen Realty, JP Express, Investors Bank and Servpro joined Stillman Photography Services as participating members of the business community. Then there were the fifteen or so unaffiliated residents who came out during a spring week to help keep their community a beautiful place to live.

Borough of South Plainfield
2480 Plainfield Avenue    South Plainfield NJ 07080