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The Return of Pelham’s Trash Busters

Pelham is particularly beautiful this time of year, when lawns turn green and forsythia blooms. It’s also a time when trash emerges from its winter cover of melting snow and rotting leaves.

On Saturday, Apr. 29 – in celebration of Earth Day, one week before — volunteers will once again gather for what has become a Pelham ritual: the annual spring cleanup sponsored by EcoPel. This prime anti-garbage event, which repeats in the fall, will begin at 10 a.m. at the Connecticut-bound side of Pelham’s Metro-North station.

EcoPel launched the cleanups in 2014 after hosting a screening of  “Plastic Paradise” at The Picture House. As moviegoers arrived, they passed a table in the lobby displaying litter collected by EcoPel founder Sydney MacInnis while walking her dog.

This inspired EcoPel board members Susan Weeks, David Brown and Amy Dunkin to organize a community crusade. “It was partly about cleaning up Pelham, but also about the example we set for our youth,” Weeks said.

Since then, more than 300 residents have attended a total of six cleanups – and they’ve found some truly strange items, including a Minnesota license plate and a cane. But most of the haul consists of plastic bottles and bags, beer cans, and coffee cups, with volunteers filling as many as 50 bags in one day with garbage and recyclables.

On Apr. 29, participants should bring work gloves, and EcoPel will supply collection bags donated by Pelham Manor resident Richard Ellenbogen, president of Garb-O-Liner. Middle and high schoolers can earn community service credits, made easy by EcoPel’s seamless process for notifying the schools.

If you can’t come to the community cleanup, consider picking up five pieces of outdoor trash per day. Pelham will thank you for it.