Bowled over: Selectmen hear Don't Trash Wareham recap, pledge support for deposit on 'nips'

By Jaime Rebhan | May 09, 2017
Photo by: Jaime Rebhan Don't Trash Wareham's Nora Bicki, right, and Mary Bruce present a bowling ball discovered off of Minot Avenue during the group's annual cleanup in April.

After an attempt to drag a heavy conversation piece up flights of Multi-Service Center stairs proved dangerous on Tuesday, Nora Bicki, Anti-litter Ambassador for grassroots community group Don't Trash Wareham, elicited the help of earnest Onset resident Joe Leggett.

The pair decided the elevator would be a better bet. After mechanical wonkiness sent them to the basement, Leggett, Bicki, and her haul arrived safely on the third floor and headed into the Selectmen's meeting room, where Bicki prepared to give her report on Don't Trash Wareham's annual town-wide cleanup, held last month.

It was there that she revealed this year's cleanup's favorite find: A massive bluish-green bowling ball, uncovered by Selectman Chair Peter Teitelbaum on the side of Minot Avenue.

"It's... shiny!" someone yelled in surprise.

"Should we auction it off?" Bicki asked the Selectmen.

After some consideration, Bicki noted that it probably wouldn't generate much cash.

"Whoever threw it out of the car damaged it," she said, spinning the bowling ball on the table between two microphones and pointing to its flaws.

In her report, Bicki explained that for the third of the annual Earth Day weekend cleanups, Don't Trash Wareham organizers asked the community to form teams and tackle trashy areas of town.

"We base our annual cleanup on the fact that litter attracts litter," Bicki explained.

From students to scouts to families to churches, businesses, civic organizations, and sports teams, with team names such as the Main Street Trash Monsters, the Trash Trolls, and Selectmen Sweepers... the concept appeared to work.

Bicki explained that as in past years, volunteers picked up hundreds of "nips," the small, single-serving bottles of alcohol. Don't Trash Wareham is currently drumming up support for a bill in the House of Representatives that would require a five-cent deposit on the bottles, with the hope that fewer would become litter.

Bicki asked the Selectmen to send a letter of support for the bill. The board agreed to do so.

Don't Trash Wareham is also circulating petitions around town in support of the bill. Petitions are located at the Wareham Free Library on Marion Road and the Spinney Memorial Library on Onset Avenue, as well as at the Onset Bay Association office on Union Avenue. Anyone interested in collecting signatures can email for the petition forms.

The cleanup overall was a success, Bicki noted.

Covanta SEMASS in Rochester donated 30-yard dumpsters to the effort. Lowe's, Home Depot, and Stop and Shop donated trash bags to the effort, which Bicki doled out to student groups, nonprofits, and church groups who needed them. 7-Eleven in East Wareham donated bags to the nearby Shangri La neighborhood volunteers.

The community filled two dumpsters, while some volunteers opted to bring their corralled trash directly to area transfer stations.

Selectman Judith Whiteside, a founding member of Don't Trash Wareham along with Selectman Alan Slavin and community member Mary Bruce, praised Bicki's work in organizing the cleanups, as well as her efforts to educate students in Wareham Public Schools about litter.

"I want to commend Nora Bicki, who has really done an enormous amount of work," Whiteside said. "Without your backbone, we really wouldn't [have been] able to accomplish what the community has accomplished."

For more information about Don't Trash Wareham, visit

Full disclosure: This reporter is a founding member of Don't Trash Wareham. In a staffing pinch, I found myself unexpectedly covering the Selectmen's meeting Tuesday.

Comments (7)
Posted by: Snowman | May 10, 2017 16:17

Thank you to every one who volunteers for this cause!

Posted by: Snowman | May 10, 2017 16:17

Thank you to every one who volunteers for this cause!

Posted by: OBL50 | May 11, 2017 05:57

Thank you to those who cleaned up Wareham... It is such a beautiful thanks to the efforts of people like the volunteers who took their time todo this valuable project. It is sad however, that the town gets so littered especially with the "infamous" bottles of nips.  Every parking lot ever curb in this town seems to be littered with these little adult treats... and what is even sadder is someone to whom the bottle belonged consumed a 40% alcohol beverage in a matter of seconds and continued on their way buzzed! Not only should there be a tax on these little bottles of destruction and pollution (just like they want to tax sugary foods) but also store owners should be held responsible for over serving the consumer.. The facts are that each bottle is equal to one drink at a bar.. so if a bartender is responsible for over serving so should the store owner who sells numerous bottles over to the same person over the course of the day...the store owner should be held as responsible for their actions of greed as the person who causes the pollution and possible harm to others.  If we are really concerned about the trash in the town and the health and well being of the citizens of the town.. let's take some real action and be an example to other cities and towns for our tough stance on the sale of NIPS! Now that will be something to write about and be cheered about.



Posted by: Swifts_Sheriff | May 12, 2017 16:20

Thanks to those who cleaned up . But I have another way of keeping the area clean . Trash barrels on the beaches .. Please Please I don't want to hear there's no money . That's a bunch of trash no pun intended.

Posted by: sadie | May 13, 2017 08:35

swifts  the "carry in carry out" policy is used at State beaches and parks. It is also used across the country. I don't think it is to much to ask people to clean up after themselves.


Posted by: Spherebreaker | May 14, 2017 17:18

Wareham will never have sufficient Town services while allowing another Town function be run by multiple private companies that buy trucks that are to big and want too build 13.9 million dollar temples to themselves.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | May 14, 2017 17:19

Wareham will never have sufficient Town services while allowing another Town function be run by multiple private companies that buy trucks that are to big and want too build 13.9 million dollar temples to themselves.

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