SOMERS, N.Y. – Since its inception in 2012, the Somers Litter Task Force has worked with the help of volunteers to pick up the trash and debris along Somers roadways twice a year.
Unlike past years when the cleanup was held over two-week periods, this year’s event will take place for almost the entire month of April, beginning April 2 and ending April 30.
Prior to 2012, there were other organized cleanups; however, due to the increased traffic and population in Somers, Dr. Suzy Moravick, task force president, said more attention was needed to accommodate the increased amounts of litter.
Last year, the seven-member board of the task force attained not-for-profit status and has now focused its efforts on expanding the organization.
The goal of the Litter Task Force for the coming years is to implement volunteer “Area Team Leaders” to help lead clean-up efforts. Additionally, Moravick said, the Somers Litter Task Force would like to increase the number of townwide cleanups to at least four times per year.
“We need boots on the ground, we need bodies,” she said. “As television personality Mike Rowe would say, ‘We need people who want to get out and do the dirty jobs.’ The Somers Litter Task Force cannot physically keep Somers clean with just our annual spring and fall cleanup. We need help from everyone in Somers.”
Supervisor Rick Morrissey commended the efforts of the volunteers that assist with the cleanup as well as the town and state highway department members that pick up the bags of litter. They do so on a volunteer basis.
“It’s really a town-wide effort by the volunteers and in cooperation with both highway departments of the town and the state,” Morrissey said. “This town runs on its volunteers.”
Moravick stressed that businesses can contribute to the overall beautification of Somers, simply by maintaining the frontage of the property on which the business is located.
“It may be unclear to some businesses in Somers to whom the responsibility lies when maintaining the business property,” she said. “However the Somers Litter Task Force encourages all businesses to look around the property where they are located and see what they can do to help keep Somers beautiful.”
Moravick said properties such as the former IBM and PepsiCo, Lincoln Hall, Anglebrook Golf Course and other properties that occupy large road frontage acreage, seem to attract large amounts of litter. Who is responsible for littering, she said, is unclear.
“That’s the $64,000 dollar question—who is littering?” Moravick said. “Whether it’s people passing through town, garbage trucks, young people, old people, we just don’t know.”
The items picked up during the semi-annual cleanups range from tires and toilets to beer cans and other nasty debris, Moravick said.
“For people to still litter in this day and age is mind boggling,” Moravick said. “Some of the things we pick up are disgusting and why they end up on the road, we just don’t know.”
“To the members of the Litter Task Force, there appears to be a mentality in Somers that if ‘I didn’t put the garbage there, even if it lands on my property, I shouldn’t have to clean it up, ‘” she said. “However, the Somers Litter Task Force would like for everyone, who is physically able, to please clean up their property frontage and if you cannot physically help us clean, please consider making a donation to our cause. The Somers Litter Task Force would like to thank everyone for all their support in helping them to keep Somers clean one road at a time.”
To sign up for this year’s cleanup visit: somersny.com/Pages/SomersNY_Forms/servicerequestformroadsidecleanup. The Somers Litter Task Force can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/SomersLitterTaskForce.