A Massachusetts-based nonprofit organized an Island-wide cleanup over the weekend, collecting what they estimated was more than a thousand pounds of trash along Martha’s Vineyard roads.
Executive director Neil Rhein of the Mansfield-based Keep Massachusetts Beautiful said that about 30 volunteers came out Saturday for the first “Great Martha’s Vineyard Cleanup” and collected approximately 35 bags of trash, which he estimated was about 1,200 pounds.
“Once you get out and walk around, it’s amazing how much trash is out there,” Rhein said of the event. He said that’s not unique to the Island. The nonprofit hosts similar cleanups across the state, where tons of trash is often picked up on the side of the road.
Groups on Saturday spread out to different areas of the Island, including the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, the nearby skate park, and Eastville Beach.
The most interesting item among the trash, Rhein said, was a wallet, which was turned in to police. Volunteers also found an old radiator. But aside from that, there were a lot of masks, small Heinz ketchup packets, and candy wrappers.
Rhein says he is hoping to give a report to the Oak Bluffs Select Board on the cleanup, and to encourage the town to install garbage barrels in key locations. He also wants to start a local chapter to hold more regular events.
Rhein noted that several volunteers from local liquor stores, who also helped sponsor the event, came out on Saturday. Some are critics of the town of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown’s proposal to ban the sale of nips.