PLAINVILLE - Eleven garbage bags stuffed with debris, at first glance, may not appear to signal an overwhelming cleanup effort, but for the Plainville Conservation Commission, every bag represents a cleaner Quinnipiac River.
Members of the commission on Saturday made their annual trek into the wooded area near the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott on New Britain Avenue to collect a variety of trash from the riverbank. By mid-morning, nearly a dozen full trash bags had been collected, along with larger debris including am aluminum sheet, plastic piping and pieces of plywood.
“Most of it is trash that collects from the highway and people who gather along the (Pan Am Railways) train tracks,” said Marge Burris, chairwoman of the Plainville Conservation Commission. “We have a lot of dedicated people who want to keep the river clean and get in there to pull out whatever they can.”
The cleanup crew was made up entirely by members of the commission.
Burris said the weather may have discouraged volunteers, though showers let up by early morning and releases noted the event would occur rain or shine.
Former Conservation Commission member Leslie Sundell was among those returning from the banks of the river with a bag containing a variety of litter. She said the trash she collected throughout the morning included soft drink cans and bottles and Styrofoam cups.
“It’s stuff people throw out their car window,” said Sundell. “Just unbelievable.”
Other members said some of the debris, including alcoholic beverage bottles, was indicative of parties near the river and the train tracks. Past cleanups have uncovered used syringes.
Route 72 is just yards from the railroad line, which is adjacent to the river.
Christopher Fortier can be reached at 860-801-5063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.