Clean and Green Campaign Set for Week of April 22-28

Grace Allen
Healthy Living Fair on April 28
Issue Date: 
April, 2018
Article Body: 

In the spring of 2009, Robin Biscaia was taking a walk and noticed all the trash alongside the roads in Norfolk. Unfortunately, this was nothing new. Every spring, the melting snow would reveal buried bottles, cans, and other debris. This time, however, Biscaia decided she would do something about it.
“I just thought, wow, what a mess,” said Biscaia, a member of the Norfolk Grange. “Maybe the Grange could get involved by getting people together to beautify our town and clean up the litter.”
Norfolk’s Clean and Green campaign was launched on Earth Day the following year. A small cohort of volunteers scattered throughout town to pick up a year’s worth of accumulated trash, and then brought the bagged items to a collection point.
The day was successful enough that Clean and Green would become Norfolk’s annual Earth Day event. Participation in the yearly clean-up day has increased slowly but steadily. This year, however, for the first time, the cleanup campaign will last a full week, in the hope more people will find time to pick up some litter.
“This year is different,” said Biscaia, the event co-chair. “There’s more flexibility to participate.”
Volunteers are asked to collect litter and recyclables in separate bags, and to wear heavy gloves and bright or reflective clothing. Suggested roadways to focus on include Pond, Union, North, Needham, Miller, River, Leland, and Boardman, said Biscaia.
“However, we encourage people to go to areas that they’re comfortable with,” she stressed. “If you have small children, you don’t want to go on the busy streets. You could start in your own neighborhood and branch out from there.”
The bagged trash can be brought to the Grange on April 28 between the hours of noon and 4 p.m. Before dropping off the trash, people will be asked to sign a log attesting the trash was collected from the roadways in Norfolk and does not include their household trash. The town of Norfolk will dispose of the bagged trash, while Dover Trucking will take away the recyclables.
Participants will receive recognition certificates for volunteer hours, and are welcome to stop into the Grange for refreshments. At the same time, the Grange will host a Healthy Living Fair, showcasing the services and products of local vendors and practitioners. The April 28th fair is open to the entire community, not just Clean and Green volunteers.
Biscaia has spent her entire adult life working for the Environmental Protection Agency. Recently retired, she noted that the EPA’s motto is “Every day is Earth Day at the EPA.”
According to the Earth Day Network’s website, more than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Earth Day 2018 will focus on ending plastic pollution, because it’s estimated that by 2050, plastic in the oceans will outweigh the fish in the oceans.
In Norfolk, the annual Clean and Green campaign removes close to a ton of trash from local roadways each year, said Biscaia.
“You’d be surprised at the things people have brought in….car bumpers, tires, skis,” she said.
Biscaia hopes the week-long event will encourage more people and youth groups to participate. The Grange, a community-service organization rooted in promoting agricultural education, stresses grassroots activism, the protection of natural resources, and family-friendly activities.
For more information about the Clean and Green campaign, including safety guidelines, visit Contact Robin Biscaia at 508-740-2777 or Samantha Benton at 508-528-0421 with any questions.