NORTH SMITHFIELD – The pandemic has effectively cancelled the town’s popular Clean & Green Day for a second consecutive year, but a targeted town-wide cleanup will still move forward later this month in North Smithfield in celebration of Earth Day.
The town has announced an effort to “Restore North Smithfield,” during the weekend of April 24 & 25, when residents are invited to spend a few hours removing litter from one of the predesignated areas that need attention.
“This effort is an opportunity to bridge the gap during the pandemic until we can safely resume holding another Clean & Green/Earth Day event,” said Town Administrator Paul Zwolenski. “The town’s school and park properties are in good shape; however, these seven areas in particular are in need of a cleanup.”
Clean & Green Day is an 18-year tradition in North Smithfield that typically brings out hundreds of volunteers. The popular event also led to the creation of a Clean & Green Committee that aims to promote recycling and litter education throughout the year. In 2018, 419 Clean & Green Day volunteers picked up 3.43 tons of trash from more than 40 miles of roadway as part of the effort.
But like most traditions across the region, the event was cancelled in 2020. And in 2021, a modified cleanup not bearing its name will have a similar goal, while adhering to distancing protocols.
Volunteers will pick up and bag trash in specific areas along Providence Pike/Route 5; Industrial Drive; Greenville Road; Hanton Road; Black Plain Road and along two exit ramps from Route 146: Greenville Road and Pound Hill Road. More detailed locations outlined here.
The cleanup effort aims to mirror the International Earth Day Network’s 2021 “Restore Our Earth” campaign a three-day virtual event with panels and workshops to be streamed live April 20-22 at https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2021/. The site also features a map with hundreds of Earth Day events taking place globally.
North Smithfield residents interested in volunteering to clean up the town are asked to fill out the waiver form found here and indicate which area they plan to clean. On Saturday, April 24, volunteers can also go to the North Smithfield Town Hall at 83 Green St. between 8 a.m. and noon to sign the waiver form and get assigned a location. A limited supply of collection bags and gloves will be available.
For safety, volunteers are encouraged to wear bright, weather-appropriate clothing, gardening or work gloves and sunscreen. Volunteers should work within their “pod” or group of individuals they live with, and protective face masks should be worn in case of interactions with individuals outside their pod, according to a release from the town. It is recommended that volunteers bring drinking water, and adult supervision of minors is mandatory.
Filled bags should be securely tied off and left at the side of the road.
Volunteers who plan to cleanup a site not listed should contact the Department of Public Works at (401) 767-2200, Ext. 348, to notify them for roadside bag pickup.
This year’s official Earth Day, celebrated globally, is Thursday, April 22.