By: Kimberly Redmond
Volunteers are being sought to pitch in and help give Morristown a good spring cleaning later this month.
On Sat. April 27, Morristown Beautiful, Inc. and Morristown Clean Communities will host a town-wide clean-up event, which is a longtime tradition in Morristown. In the event of heavy rain, the clean-up will be held on Sun. April 28.
For more than 25 years, community members, young and old, have banded together to pick up trash that accumulated over the winter in parks, playgrounds, fields, parking lots and sidewalks around town.
The beautification event, which falls around Earth Day, typically draws hundreds of volunteers, eager to clean the town where they live, work and play. Volunteers run the gamut from scout troops to religious groups to businesses to families and everyone in between.
Many of the volunteers target the areas they operate in as their cleaning assignments, and, in many cases, they wind up proposing additional projects to spruce up the area and make Morristown even more inviting, according to the initiative’s organizers.
Kathleen O’Neill Margiotta, who helps coordinate the clean-up, said, “A few hours of your time will make a big difference in helping to make spring in Morristown beautiful.”
Over the last decade, New Jersey has seen a statewide decline in the amount of litter along streets and highways, according to a recent report from the New Jersey Clean Communities Council.
The study shows that towns and counties across New Jersey have implemented successful litter abatement projects since 2004, which is a key factor in the state’s 53 percent reduction in roadside rubbish.
The report also attributes the decrease to the Clean Community programs across New Jersey that have strengthened over the last decade, as well as volunteer clean-up efforts of public space and educational programming.
Key findings of the report include, the largest amount of litter in New Jersey comes from vehicles and construction, accounting for 18.2 percent of debris. Paper was the second most thrown away piece of debris (14.8 percent), followed by beverage containers at 14.1 percent. Cups, lids and straws came in third (10.3 percent), followed by bags and plastic wrap at 9.8 percent. Pedestrians and occupants of cars between the ages of 11 and 34 were most likely to intentionally toss trash out the window, accounting for nearly 70 percent of deliberate littering. With nearly 29 percent of littered items qualifying as recyclables (beverage containers, boxes and papers), the report stresses the importance of recycling education.
If you go on April 27, volunteers should plan to meet at 9 a.m. in the Town Hall Parking Lot (200 South Street, Morristown). Advance registration is not required and light refreshments will be served.
Volunteers will receive their work assignments that morning, but if a group would like to request a particular location to clean, they can do so in advance by contacting Kathleen O’Neill Margiotta at 973-644-4363 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers should dress for performing a work detail and, if possible bring their own gloves, rakes, shovels, brooms and other gardening gear. Bags for collecting garbage and recycling will be provided.
All work assignments will be completed by 11:30 a.m.