SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Volunteers armed with orange trash bags, gloves and other necessary items headed out on Saturday, April 15 for the South Plainfield Clean Communities Advisory Board’s annual Volunteer Litter Clean Up. Additionally, throughout the week, others headed, taking on assigned sections of the borough, and doing their part to make South Plainfield cleaner.

“I was very pleased with the turnout this year,” said South Plainfield's Environmental Specialist and Clean Communities Coordinator Alice Tempel. “Nearly all of the groups and people who pre-registered showed up as well as a quite a few who hadn’t signed up and came out on their own.”

During the annual community-wide event Saturday, individuals, families and various Boy Scout troops and Girl Scout troops, community-based groups and organizations worked to fill approximately 190 trash bags and clear some three-dozen sites within the municipality. Items such as paper, cardboard, cigarettes, bottles, cans and other random debris, including tires and an oddly discarded set of dinnerware, were removed from the sides of roads and properties.

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“The South Plainfield Volunteer Litter Clean Up was a huge success throughout the borough and a big thank you to all who participated.  Over the course of the week there were approximately 180 individuals participating in the event that covered all corners of the borough.

“Residents, businesses, religious groups, Girl Scouts, Brownies, Boy Scouts Cub Scouts, South Plainfield High School groups, political parties and others attended the event to help make South Plainfield a cleaner community,” said Environmental Commission and Green Team member Tom Walsh. “The total amount of litter that was picked up is still being calculated but driving through town you couldn't help but notice the orange bags at the curb ready to be picked up by the South Plainfield Department of Public Works.”

Areas along well-traveled streets such as Oak Tree Avenue, Park Avenue, South Clinton Avenue, Hamilton Boulevard, Woodland Avenue, Metuchen Road, and Durham Avenue at the 287 overpass were tackled as were Cotton Park, Spring Lake Park, Pitt Street Park, and Walnut Street Park. Areas in and around the senior center, borough hall, rescue squad, community pool, and library as well as the schools and the Highland Woods Nature Preserve were also included.

“We had a decent day weather-wise and this year it was really important that we had so much help and support because, for some reason, there was a lot more litter to clean up than in the past,” said Tempel.

Following the clean up, volunteers gathered in the court room at borough hall for a ‘thank you’ pickup picnic with Mayor Matt Anesh and members of the South Plainfield Borough Council and Clean Communities Association serving up sandwiches, pizza and cold beverages.

“A special thank you goes out to Hometown Heroes for donating the sandwiches and McCriskin-Gustafson Home for Funerals for donating the pizza,” said Walsh.

Additionally, the day featured Tempel's ‘Spin the Wheel’ game through which residents had the opportunity to test their environmental knowledge for a chance to win such environmentally friendly prizes as reusable, folding shopping totes, notebooks made out of recycled paper, and bracelets made from recycled rubber.

“Everyone who attended the pizza party had a great time and shared many laughs with Mayor Matt Anesh and Dave Street, entertainer and environmentalist, co-sharing the MC duties,” said Walsh.

Temple added, “This year’s clean up wouldn't have been possible without the support from the Clean Communities Advisory Board, including Chairwoman Dorothy Miele and members Joe Diegnan, Dave Street, Tom Walsh, and Lisa Roseo.”

Adopt-A-Spot locations are still available throughout the borough. Anyone interested in adopting a spot to keep that area litter free should contact Alice Tempel at (908) 226-7621/atempel@southplainfieldnj.com.

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