BRATTLEBORO—Jane Diefenbach passed the trash heap on the footpath running between Organ Street and Birge Street for two summers.
She joked that for a long time she “wished it away” with a “well, that’s too bad” and kept walking.
In late August, however, the trash pile was no more.
Diefenbach and four Cherry Street residents — Mary Lea, Judy Zemel, and Janice and Jerry Stockman — rolled up their sleeves. They carted the trash to where the trail opens onto Minshall Street, where Department of Public Works staff carted the refuse away.
The work took about 90 minutes, Diefenbach said. “I only sign up for the easy ones,” she said with a laugh.
Shortly after the clean up, someone threw beer cans in the same place, she said.
Zemel posted a sign and a small trash bag asking people to keep the area clean, Diefenbach said.
So far, it has seemed to work. According to Diefenbach, no more trash has been left.
Some of the trash contained items such as kitty litter that Diefenbach speculated came from local homes. A small homeless encampment from last summer also contributed to the pile, she said. Its members didn’t return this summer, Diefenbach said.
Water & Highway Superintendent Hannah O’Connell said that the Public Works Department receives very few calls for illegal dumping.
“Not even one a week,” she said.
Mattresses are a common illegally dumped item that the department deals with, she said.
One problem dumping area for the town, O’Connell said, is the recycling bins on Fairground Road near the Brattleboro Union High School. It takes Public Works staff several hours a week to clean the area of trash, she said.
The department has installed cameras at the site.