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Spring is back; it's time to Green Up!

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Posted on April 27, 2015 |
By Evan Johnson



Green Up 2014.jpg
GREEN UP BAGS filled with trash collected from Addison County roadsides fill a truck in Middlebury this past May. This Saturday is Green Up Day across Vermont. Independent file photo

ADDISON COUNTY — Since 1970, communities across Vermont have taken to local roads for some much-needed spring cleaning. As they’ve done every year, residents in Addison County are gearing up for Green Up Day, scheduled for this Saturday, May 2.

Many of the 23 towns in Addison County have unique Green Up Day traditions. After picking up rubbish, many towns celebrate with picnics and barbecues, treats for volunteers and raffles. In Orwell, the occasion is known as “Junk Day,” with residents cleaning up not only their neighborhoods, but their backyards as well.

“It’s the kind of spring thing that the town really gets into,” says Liz Orr, who has organized Orwell’s Green Up effort for the past 12 years.

A new event this year is a bike swap and clinic at Mary Hogan Elementary in Middlebury on Saturday.

The following is a town-by-town listing of Green Up Day activities around the county.

In Addison, volunteers can contact organizer Starr Phillips for bags and to coordinate cleanup areas on local roads. The town dump truck will be parked behind the Addison Community Baptist Church at the intersection of Routes 17 and 22A to receive trash bags from May 1 to early morning on May 4.

In Bridport, bags are available at the town offices leading up to May 2. Dump trucks will be available at the town offices for the entire weekend for folks to drop off bags.

Bristol volunteers can pick up bags this week at the town office and leave them along roadsides on Green Up Day.

Cornwall’s Green Up volunteers can pick up bags and sign up for roads at the town hall. Trucks will be parked at Bingham Memorial School from Friday through Sunday to drop off bags.

In Ferrisburgh, bags are available at the town clerk’s office during business hours and on Green Up Day from 9-10 a.m. at the Ferrisburgh Central School. Bag drop-off is at the town garage, the intersection of Shell House Mountain Road and Fuller Mountain Road and the fishing access on Bain Harbor Road for the entire weekend.

Organizer Deb Healey said volunteers in Ferrisburgh have been known to discover more tires than surrounding towns.

“We usually win for tires,” she said. “I don’t know why and I don’t care to speculate.”

In Goshen, bags are available at the town office or by delivery from organizer Marci Hayes. Trucks will pick up bags left on the side of the road on Saturday. A barbecue for volunteers is scheduled from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the town office parking lot, rain or shine.   

Green Up Day activities in Granville will be held at the Moss Glenn Grange Hall starting at 7 a.m. Volunteers will pick up assignments and return to the grange in the early afternoon to drop off bags at Dumpsters. Bags are available on Green Up Day as well as before at the Granville Store.

Hancock residents will meet at the Hancock Town Hall at 9 a.m. to receive assignments and will return with bags at noon for a lunch.

In Leicester, organizers are encouraging pellet stove owners to use old pellet bags for garbage collection. Volunteers who use bags of any sort to collect trash along the public roads may leave them on the roadside to be picked up or brought to the town garage on Fern Lake Road. Organizers will also stage a cookout and raffle.

In Lincoln, cleanup is from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and includes a lunch, which starts at 11 a.m. Volunteers can contact organizer Dawn Mikkelsen for directions and more information.

In Middlebury, bags are available at the town offices, Ilsley Library, Otter Creek Brewery and Vermont Hard Cider. On May 2, filled bags can be brought to waiting town dump trucks at the town gym, the Memorial Sports Center or the fire station in East Middlebury. The day concludes with a picnic at the Vermont Hard Cider brewery on Exchange Street from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Last year, volunteers collected 4.27 tons of garbage, including 41 tires, according to Middlebury Green Up organizer Peg Martin.

“We get a lot of mileage out of some dedicated people,” Martin said.

This year, there will be a Green Up Day bike swap at Mary Hogan Elementary School with new and used bikes, bike gear and parts for sale on consignment. The event, from 9 a.m.-noon, will also feature clinics for beginners, demos and exhibits on local riding options.

In Monkton, bags will be available at the Town Hall starting April 27. Members of the Monkton Maples 4-H Community Service group will be project leaders this year and will be at the Town Hall on Green Up Day from 8 a.m. to noon, handing out special Green Up bags and gloves. There will also be a town map available to mark which roads have been cleaned. Trash picked up on Saturday can be dropped off at the town garage and sorted.

Volunteers in New Haven meet between 9 and 11 a.m. on May 2 to register for a section of road and receive bags, gloves, safety tips, sunscreen, bug repellant and bottled water. The town road crew will pick up bags on Monday.

Bags for Green Up Day, or “Junk Day,” in Orwell are already available at the town clerk’s office, Buxton’s General Store and Orwell Gas N Go. On May 2, volunteers may drop off bags from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the town shed. Workers will remove refrigerant from old freezers and crush old cars. The event also features treats for anyone bringing bags and a raffle with prizes including haircuts, movie tickets, maple syrup and more.

Panton residents can pick up bags at the town clerk’s office and leave them on the roadside or at the town garage until the evening of May 3.

Ripton residents can pick up bags at the town office and the Ripton Country Store. They can also pick up bags on Green Up Day at the town shed. The day concludes with a barbecue at the town shed.

In Salisbury, bags will be available at Kampersville Store on Green Up Day from 8-10 a.m. Limited bags will also be available at the town office and landfill. Volunteer truckers will pick up bags throughout the week following Green Up Day, so volunteers are advised to leave bags on major roads.

In Shoreham, bags are available at the town clerk and library. More bags will be available on Green Up Day from 9 a.m. to noon at the firehouse. Drop-off is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the red barn next to the firehouse. Scrap metal will be accepted as well.

Starksboro Green Up volunteers can pick up their bags at the Jerusalem Corner Store and town office. Bag drop-off is at the town garage from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In Vergennes, bags are available leading up to Green Up Day at City Hall or on Green Up Day from 7 a.m. to noon at City Park. Volunteers are asked to leave bags near intersections of city streets.

In Waltham and Weybridge, bags are available at the respective town offices. On Green Up Day, bags can be placed on the side of the road for pick-up.

In Whiting, volunteers may contact organizer Rebecca Bertrand for bags, which are also available at the town office. Volunteers meet at 8 a.m. at the town shed to plan. Bags can be brought back to the shed in the afternoon or left on the side of the road.

Green Up Vermont President Melinda Vieux said statewide participation has grown from 7,000 volunteers in 2000 to 20,000 in 2014. Last year, the state passed legislation to place Green Up Vermont on the charitable donation line of the Vermont tax form, making Green Up Vermont the fourth nonprofit to be placed on the form in 25 years.

This year, Green Up Vermont is collaborating with Dutch artist Marie Koijk in sculpting a 12-foot high dinosaur on the Statehouse lawn in Montpelier. The dinosaur will be constructed out of chicken wire and filled with between 15,000 and 25,000 plastic bottles. The dinosaur will be on display from May 5-16 and will be featured in parades around the state.

Vieux said the dinosaur is intended to be a symbol of an impending global environmental catastrophe.

“We’re moving our focus from just Vermont to Vermont’s role in a healthy planet,” Vieux said. “It’s facing extinction if we don’t behave ourselves.” 

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