Don't Trash Wareham volunteers perform clean sweep

By Matthew Bernat | Apr 22, 2017
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Members of the girls tennis team with trash they picked up at Lopes Playground in Onset on Sunday.

Wareham streets are cleaner thanks to the efforts of more than 375 volunteers who fanned out across town on a cold, rainy Saturday and a picture perfect Sunday.

This weekend marked Don’t Trash Wareham’s first major cleanup of the year as youngsters, high schoolers, nonprofit groups, businesses and private citizens stepped forward to help. The grassroots group is dedicated to beautifying town.

Now in its third year, Don’t Trash Wareham’s spring clean up has grown from a handful of litter-conscious, community minded volunteers to a town-wide effort.

“The most important part of this, for me, is getting people to take pride in their community,” said Don’t Trash Wareham co-founder Nora Bicki. “If people care about where they live, they’ll take care of it.”

Bicki, along with Selectmen Alan Slavin, Judith Whiteside, and residents Jaime Rebhan-Buckminster and Mary Bruce, started the effort after spending a few years cleaning up parts of town on their own.

On Sunday, Bicki, Slavin, Whiteside, Bruce, Selectman Peter Teitelbaum and Sandy Slavin (Alan’s wife) cleaned up Minot Avenue from the Narrows to Indian Neck Road.

The group has adopted the road as their own. Bicki noted many other groups in town have made similar efforts, cleaning and keeping an eye on highways and byways throughout the year.

Slavin said Don't Trash Wareham started as a way to raise awareness for beautifying the town and instilling a sense of pride. Slavin added that he wished more people would make an effort before trash hits the streets.

“It doesn’t take much to put a plastic bag in your car for trash and to empty it out at the end of the day,” said Slavin.

Down the road from the Narrows, the Wareham High School girls tennis team, along with Coach Geoff Swett, worked at Lopes Playground in Onset.

“The girls are getting a lesson in what people throw out of their car windows,” joked Swett.

Nips, cigarette butts and at least one basketball “that’s seen better days” were all picked up. And after an hour the team had many full trash bags.

The day before, other teams, with names such as Trash Busters, Down to Clean and the West Wareham Trash Warriors, hit the streets armed with bags and gloves.

At Minot Forest School, members of the Wareham Key Club met before starting their afternoon clean up efforts. Lisa Simmons, of Kiwanis International, which the club is affiliated with, greeted them with supplies, refreshments and encouragement.

“You don’t want those weak bags,” she said, handing them sturdier ones. “These are the ones you want!”

For Simmons, the clean up was slightly lucrative. She found a winning $35 scratch ticket and a $20 bill by the roadside. She donated the money to Kiwanis International.

A group cleaning up near the Shangri La neighborhood posted to Don’t Trash Wareham’s Facebook page that their efforts were noticed.

“Lots of people stopped to thank everyone or honked and waved when passing,” the post said. “It made everyone feel appreciated, which goes a long way.”

For more information on Don’t Trash Wareham visit the group’s Facebook page, or contact them via email at donttrashwareham@gmail.com.

Wareham Key Club member Josh Gallagher walks along Minot Avenue with Col. Lt. Matthew Stanton, the club's advisor, following behind. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Harbormaster Garry Buckminster lends a hand on Saturday. Other Harbormaster Department employees joined the effort as well. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Wareham High School Key Club members Alana Nicoletti, right, and Ava Sullivan participate in the town-wide trash clean up held on Saturday. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Selectman Alan Slavin, a founding member of Don't Trash Wareham, cleans up near the Narrows on Sunday. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
From left:  Makenna Singleton, 9,  Ava Coelho, 6, and Savanna Singleton take a quick break from picking up trash near Tobey Hospital. Savanna's husband, Joe, works security for Southcoast Health and helped out Saturday, too. (Courtesy of: Joe Singleton )
From left:  Ava Coelho, 6,  Makenna Singleton and Joe Singleton participated in Don't Trash Wareham's clean up on Saturday. (Courtesy of: Joe Singleton )
Comments (5)
Posted by: Society for Suppression of Noise | Apr 22, 2017 20:54

I appreciate the efforts of all my young friends and neighbors in this impressive project.  Especially since it was too darned cold, damp, and miserable for any sane person to do anything but hunker indoors next to the stove and grumble about the weather.



Posted by: Don't Trash Wareham | Apr 23, 2017 15:18

Thank you Matt for an excellent article and photos. The cleanup was a great success this year thanks to the many volunteers who worked tirelessly to clean Wareham and Onset.



Posted by: WantToSeeChange | Apr 24, 2017 21:13

Great job by all!  Thank you for all of your efforts.



Posted by: Blondechick | May 01, 2017 10:52

I was down this past weekend visiting my family, and streets were noticeably cleaner than the last few times I had been here! All the volunteers hard work is greatly appreciated!!



Posted by: Zephyr | May 01, 2017 11:58

There was a man and a woman picking up trash on Sandwich Road.  I don't know who there were but thank you very much.  It looks so much better now.  Especially around the stone bridge over the Agawam River.



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