The 2021 edition of Green Up Day is set for Saturday, May 1 — back on schedule.
Traditionally held on the first Saturday in May, this annual roadside cleanup sees Vermonters of all ages get outside and clean up miles of roads throughout the state. Last year, it was delayed a month because of the chaos of the pandemic.
Inspired by the first Earth Day in 1970, Green Up Day is Vermont’s largest all-volunteer, statewide, one-day event.
Green Up Vermont, the nonprofit organization that helps coordinate the event, estimates that over its 50 years, Vermonters have collected more than 24 million pounds of litter and 450,000 tires.
While Vermont’s Interstates and state highways, some 2,707 miles, are cleaned each spring by Vermont’s Agency of Transportation, Green Up Day efforts focus on town roads — 13,086 miles of them, according to a news release.
How does Green Up Day work? Volunteers fill trash bags with paper, cans, and roadside trash. (On this day, it is okay to mix trash and recyclables.) Once the area is clean, the green bags of trash can be left by the side of the road for town-wide pickup by local highway crews or brought to designated collection points in some towns.
With COVID-19 in mind, volunteers are reminded to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Bright clothes and facing oncoming traffic will help make participants visible to drivers. Insect repellent, gloves, and boots are musts to protect against dirt and ticks.
One can pick up bags this week in Brattleboro at Brown and Roberts, the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, Turning Point of Windham County, Brattleboro Subaru, the Brattleboro Food Co-op, and the West Brattleboro Fire Station, or at other sites in the county [see sidebar].
For more information about Green Up Day, visit greenupvermont.org.