Charlotte, Hinesburg volunteers keep Green Up traditions alive

Mark and Jenny Pendergrass green up with their children Griffin and Nora in Hinesburg on Saturday.

On Saturday Vermonters fanned out across the state with heavy-duty bright green trash bags, cleaning up trash along roadsides and sprucing up their communities.

In Hinesburg, volunteers said they saw patterns to the trash litterbugs tend to toss. Coffee cups, beer cans and Gatorade bottles were the most picked-up items in Hinesburg. Volunteers talked about their finds as they gathered for lunch after greening up all over town that morning.

Someone who drives westbound on Shelburne Falls Road loves Labatt’s Beer, resident Bill Scott said as he was bringing back two full bags of bottles.

Moe’s Southwest Grill bags were also one of the most picked up items, Hinesburg resident Mark Pendergrass said.

Though he didn’t find anything particularly noteworthy this year, Hinesburg resident Ray Mainer said he can’t forget the spot where on Green Up Day a couple of years ago, he found a prom dress on the side of the road.

Green Up also sparks conversations with young, volunteers who are curious about the objects they find along the road.

“There is a lot of explaining what things are to kids,” Brogan Morten commented. For example, he said, he and his wife found themselves explaining to their kids what a car bumper and an Adirondack chair were to their kids.

In Charlotte, the Green Up system was familiar with a new twists added that fit with the overall theme.


Photos by Madeline Hughes
Volunteers sort trash, recycling, tires and electronics at the Charlotte Green Up Day drop-off.

Organizers this year added in a special collection for electronic waste that townspeople could drop off unwanted or broken items that they may not have known how or where to toss without putting them in with trash that ends up in the landfill.

Charlotte Green Up co-coordinator Ken Spencer estimated that about 40 people took advantage of the opportunity.

Jamey Gerlaugh, working with Transition Town to coordinate the e-waste pickup, said people brought old speakers, computers, cell phones and other electronics that were cluttering their homes.

“E-waste has become a huge part of the waste stream and lots of rare earth metals can be recycled out of e-waste,” Gerlaugh said. It’s another thing to try to keep out of the landfill, he added.

Along those lines, Gerlaugh said that the Town Charlotte will host the second Repair Cafe event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat. May 19, at the Hinesburg Town Hall. People can bring in anything that needs to be repaired from electronics, to clothing items that need to be sewed. Volunteers who like to fix things are invited to bring their tools to help repair items, instead of adding more waste to the environment.

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