SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - During the week of April 16-23, Borough citizens came together to shake off winter and welcome spring. This was the thirtieth consecutive spring volunteer litter cleanup in South Plainfield. More than 170 volunteers showed up on Saturday, April 16 to scour the Borough for litter and trash. Scout troops, church groups, families, students, non-profit organizations; businesses, politicians – all sectors of the Borough were represented. By the end of the week, a total of 242 people had worked 430 hours to fill 240 bags with litter and recyclables. They cleaned 7.5 miles of roadside and 104 acres of parks and woods at 36 different locations.
Possibly the beautiful spring day helped bring people out. The number of volunteers was 16% higher than last year, and we cleaned more spots and filled more bags. The piles of orange bags around town bore witness to the dedication of the volunteers as well as to the thoughtlessness of fellow citizens who leave litter for others to clean up. The Borough’s Road Department made quick work of collecting the trash.
The post-cleanup Pickup Picnic was set up in borough hall. The South Plainfield Green Team staffed a table in the lobby with information about keeping litter out of the storm drains, and car emissions out of the air. An environmental quiz carnival wheel was an added attraction in the Court Room. Cleanup volunteers waited in line for 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 a steel water bottle. The wheel was staffed by Mayor Anesh. His running commentary was the hit of the picnic, and had people wondering if he had a future as a stand-up comic.
Councilmembers, members of the Environmental Commission and the Clean Communities Advisory Board served pizza, sandwiches and soda to the hungry workers. The McCriskin-Gustafson Funeral Home donated the pizza from Bruno’s Pizza Factory again this year. Charlie and Debbie Kurland of Home Town Heros provided two large plates of sandwiches. A free raffle of potted tree seedlings entertained the volunteers. Volunteers exchanged notes about their “finds,” such as the three cabinets pulled out of the Tompkins Avenue Open Space Area and the mattress found on Metuchen Road, and a $5 bill.
Groups that participated in Cleanup Week included: Adopt-A-Spotters South Plainfield Business Association, Investors Bank, the Roseo Family, Stillman Photography Services, the Richkus Family, and the Bourbeau Family. Scouts included Brownie Troop 65136 and Girl Scout Troops 65029, 65042, and 65167; Cub Scout Packs 207 and 224 and Boy Scout Troops 124, 207 and 309. Non-profits and other organizations included the Middlesex County Labor Assistance Program, the South Plainfield Democratic Organization, the South Plainfield Republican Organization, the First Baptist Church, the South Plainfield Environmental Commission, the NJ Buddha Light International Association, the Middle School Eco-Green Team, the High School National Honor Society, and the Al Minhaal Academy. Harris Realty and Jordache joined Investors Bank and Stillman Photography Services as participating members of the business community. Then there were the twenty unaffiliated residents who came out during a beautiful week in April to help keep their community a great place to live.