This year, the Shelton Clean Sweep had 40 registered events, ranging from individuals picking up their street to Scout groups and corporations. Many, many more people quietly clean up their street without registering.
The largest clean-up event was the annual Housatonic River Cleanup that spans Shelton, Milford, and Stratford. 300 people reportedly helped out with that cleanup in all three cities (Bob Valentino of Stratford is the organizer and they have a Facebook page). We have a picture online of the enormous pile of litter gathered from at the Sunnyside boat launch.
We are seeing an increase in help from High School students now that has a requirement of ten hours of community service each year by May 1. The Housatonic River Cleanup was last minute way to get those hours in by the deadline.
Event participants qualify for custom patches and certificates, especially popular with Scouting groups. A recognition event will be held on May 23 at 7:00 pm in the City Hall auditorium where the Anti-Litter Committee and Mayor Mark Lauretti will be awarding the certificates as well as special awards.
Shelton has also been implementing a new Adopt-a-Street program so that key City streets are picked up at least four times a year (preferably more often). This program is gear toward businesses and civic groups who receive a street sign thanking them for their efforts. The City also distributes safety vests and bags. There is no charge for the program, and the City will pick up the bags of litter if needed.
The Anti-Litter Committee asks residents and businesses to do their part by keeping their road frontage free of litter if at all possible, and if there is vacant or wooded land across the street to pick that up as well. The City of Shelton does not employee street crews to pick up litter except for a portion of the downtown area. Picking up litter increases the value of a neighborhood and keeps taxes low. When asked why he picks up litter, one volunteer answer, “Because I live here.”
More information about both programs is online at www.DontTrashShelton.org.