Monday, May 8, 2017

Clean Sweep 2017

The "Plavec Group" in Huntington Woods
People across Shelton hit the streets, parks, schools, and waterways for the 10th annual Shelton Clean Sweep, held the week of Earth Day (April 22). There were twenty-five registered cleanups around town and many more that were not registered. Many thanks to everyone involved!


Girl Scout Troop 60672 cleaned up Mohegan School
It's hard to believe the first Shelton Clean Sweep was ten years ago, and the 10-year old kids who participated are now adults. We hope the participation of so many kids will foster an appreciation of litter-free parks and streets in future generations.

Tighe & Bond employees cleaned up Isinglass Road.

We encourage people to report their cleanups, although it seems most people would prefer not to. The 'report a clean-up' form is for all litter cleanups across Shelton, not just for Clean Sweep, and helps us determine how much is getting picked up. The link to report is easy to find on the DontTrashShelton.org webpage, on the left margin. Seventeen cleanups involving 122 people were reported via this link during the Clean Sweep 2017 period:

Shelton High Period 2 Civics Class
Shelton High School front area
4 medium sized bags
14

Sheri Dutkanicz
Nells Rock Road
1 large bag
1
Pack 24 -
Booth Hill School
Booth Hill School
14 plastic shopping bags
14
GS troop 60672
Mohegan school
1/2 of a large bag
11 7 year olds
The Pastores
Seneca Road
One large bag and a load of Jack Daniels bottles
3
Stusalitus Family
Canfield Drive open space along roadside
1 small tire, 1 ice chest, 3 large bags mostly liquor bottles & fast food trash
3
Girl Scout Troop 60294
Cali Drive
1 large bag and 1 small bag
10
Carreira Family
Regan Circle, Wooster Street
2 large bags
4
Boy Scout Troop 28
Shelton Lakes Path
6 tires, vinyl siding, part of a large tractor, a furnace, 2 air conditioners, a car transmission, front and back seat of an old car, 10 additional bags of garbage
24
Plavec Group
Balsam Circle, Wesley Drive and Shelton Rec Path Parallel
One large 42 gal trash bag
3
Tighe & Bond
Isinglass Road at the intersection of Huntington Street
15 Large Bags, tire, car parts
4
Gil Pastore
Farmill River from Yutaka Trail to Farmill Crossing
4 large bags & beach ball
3
MOMS Club of Shelton
Riverview Park, surrounding play area.
3 large bags
5
Mikayla Wsilewski/Janie Hulton
Wabuda. Rt108
4 large bags
2
Daisy Troop 60396
Shelton High School
10 bags- filled as much as a Daisy could carry! :) (about 1/2 filled)
18
Devin Mitola
Sunnyside Elementary
1 large garbage bag
2
Fernando Alves
Area around interesection of Meadow Street and Shelton Avenue
2 large bags
1



Thursday, August 18, 2016

Old Wrestling Platform and Tires -- So Many Tires

Work in progress.  So many tires.
There was an impressive old wrestling platform in the open space off of Pine Tree Hill and Beech Tree Hill Road, covered in vines and vegetation, and resting on a mountain of stacked tires. It was on our wishlist for cleanup for several years before Chris Vickers rose to the challenge. In addition to being unsightly during winter months, the tires were breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

BEFORE

AFTER - WOW!

Chris had to clear the vegetation, cut the platform up with a chainsaw, and took about 100 tires to the transfer station. But there are still more tires to haul out, and Chris is looking for help to get the job finished. Calling all Scouts! If there are any troop out there willing to help, please contact Teresa at conservation@cityofshelton.org.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2016 Clean Sweep Awards

Congratulations to our 2016 Volunteer of the Year awards! We have three categories: business, organization, and individual. This year we have two local businesses that worked together on a project and each gets an award.  Our winners are selected from those who have submitted cleanup reports via our online reporting form at DontTrashShelton.org, and exclude Adopt-a-Street participants and members of the Anti-Litter Committee.

Volunteer of the Year: Business Category
Mica-Corporation and Electri-Cable Assemblies (ECA)
For cleaning up Mountain View Drive and Ivy Brook Lane by removing 55 bags of litter along with two tires, license plates, an engine, and clothing. (Click awards to enlarge).




Volunteer of the Year: Organization Category
Boy Scout Troop 28
For hauling a pile of garbage up the the bottom of a cliff in the Shelton Lakes Greenway, including 3000 lbs of metal (a car), 45 tires, and fifteen bags of garbage.



Volunteer of the Year: Individual Category
Austin Foley
For collecting twelve bags of litter from East Village Park.


Congratulations! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Litter Definition Expanded

On November 12, 2015, Shelton's Board of Aldermen adopted an amendment to the City Ordinances which expands the definition of litter to include advertising materials. Litter now specifically includes telephone books, books, and advertising materials. Previously it was a more of a gray area in the ordinance, open to interpretation. 



Besides phone books, other items that get thrown in people's driveways and lawns include little baggies that contain a business card and few rocks to weigh it down. No one wants these. No one wants to have to pick them up. Also litter: pamphlets, brochures, fake religious plastic gold coins thrown all over the street. 

Business card in baggie with rocks thrown from car. This is littering. 

Reference Ordinance: Chapter 7 Article I Section 7-9 Littering or Dumping Prohibited. Amendment approved unanimously November 12, 2015. Public Hearing took place October 27, 2015. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Battle of Pearmain

Pearmain Road at the gas pipeline after the cleanup (click photo to enlarge)
Pearmain Road is one of the White Hill's more interesting streets, linking Birdseye Road to Saw Mill City Road.  Traveling west from Birdseye Road, Pearmain is a narrow, paved street lined with farmland and homes. But the pavement ends, and that's where the trouble begins.  A few hundred yards of easily-traveled dirt road leads to a Iroquois Gas Pipeline facility and a turn-around of sorts (see location on Google Maps). Past that point, the road is in such poor shape that it's become a challenge course for young people with 4WD trucks and a popular route for ATVs (note: the trucks are legal on this road, but the ATVs are not). 

People have been dumping and partying here for years. A video from 2006 was taken by the new conservation agent after receiving a complaint about a pile of tires where the gas pipeline crosses Pearmain Road. The location can be reached by hiking south from the Land Trust's Nicholdale Farm property off of Rt 110 (location of a Scout camp).



The area was then cleaned up, and Iroquois installed a heavy gate across Pearmain Road where the pavement ends. Sadly, the heavy chain locking the gate was cut, repeatedly. Everyone finally just gave up trying to keep it locked and the dumping continued.

The issue came to the forefront again in the fall of 2014 while the Trails Committee was building an official connector trail from the Land Trust's Scout camp out to Pearmain Road. The new trailhead came out onto Pearmain Road only a few feet from piles of trash. Committee members took apart an old picnic table that had been dumped and used the lumber for a trail bridge. Most concerning were the campfire remains found directly over the gas pipeline. Kids were playing with fire right on top of a huge natural gas line!  This lent a sense of urgency to the issue.

A real mess
After conferring with various city departments, the Conservation Agent researched better ways to lock the existing gate and installed security cameras. Some chains appear to be much stronger than others.   Justino's Landscaping then rose to the challenge, hauling out a mountain of trash. The Police Department reviewed the area and now makes a point to check the gate routinely: If the gate is suddenly found open on a Saturday night, there is probably a party going on.  

Garbage removed, but landscaping debris is unsightly. 
After the trash was hauled out, there was still a lot of unsightly landscaping debris that had been dumped, including many large, rotting logs.  The Police noted that the logs were an invitation for kids who wanted to start a fire, and recommended the wood be removed. Highways & Bridges then sent in a crew to remove the landscaping debris, finishing up by spreading woodchips. 


Much better!
The road is still technically open to registered vehicles. Although they can't pass through the gate, it's legal to drive in from Saw Mill City Road if you have a truck capable of handling the rough road. The point of the gate was to stop people coming in the easy way with loads of debris they want to dump as well as teenagers driving in by car to attend a party. The gate seems to be accomplishing that so far.

In conclusion, it has taken the efforts of a lot of people to get this dumpsite cleaned up, and to keep it secure from future dumping, but where there is a will, there is a way. Many thanks to the following:

Iroquois Gas Company
Justino's Landscaping
Shelton Highways & Bridges
Shelton Police Department

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Clean Sweep 2015 - Another Success

"Lia and her team of turkeys" off Birdseye Road
Shelton Clean Sweep was another great success this year. Many thanks to everyone involved! We had 45 clean-up events registered online, and there are always many other cleanups that no one tells us about (perhaps the majority). The total reported cleanups involved 275 people who removed 250 large bags of litter as well as many other large items like old swing sets, tires, and even an old car. This does not include the Housatonic River Cleanup, in which maybe 100 people filled up a couple of large dumpsters.  

Results reported via the online Cleanup Reporting Form for the month of April: 
Jones Farm  - Walnut Tree Hill Road - 7 bags
Karen Sobbell & Family - Mohegan Road - 6 bags
Ingrid Waters - Long Hill Cross - 5 bags
Karen Sobbel, Mohegan Rd
Toni Pensiero - Constitution Blvd - 8 bags
Lia's Team of Turkeys - Corner of Rt 110 and Birdseye - 4 bags
Sheri Dutkanicz - Meadow St - 5 bags
Terrance Gallagher - Mill Street - 7 bags
Farmill River Association - Far Mill River - 8 bags and 2 boxes
Well Spring Estates - Old Stratford Rd, Farmill Crossing - 15 bags
Ellen Cramp - Coram Rd - 1 bag
Stusalitus Family - Canfield Drive - 2 bags
EDR - Armstrong Road - 5 bags
One Hour Heating - School St & Monroe Rd - 12 bags
Mica Corporation - Ivy Brook, Mountain View Roads - 6 bags
ECA - Mountain View, Ivy Brook - 31 bags & lawnmower
George Waters - Shelton Canal - 5 bags and large items
Boy Scouts Troop 55 - Shelton High - 7 bags
Sheri Dutkanicz - Birchbank Mtn Trail; Long Hill Ext. - 1 bag
Girl Scout Troop 63140 - Capewell Park - 3 1/2 bags
Eva Washenko - Petremont Street - 5 bags
St. Joseph  Group - South Bank - 3 bags & a tire
Nancy Dickal  - Kneen Street - 8 bags
Roller Family - Rocky Rest Road - 2 large bags
Karen S. - Mohegan  Road - 12 bags
Country Club Village - Means Brook - 25 bags and many large items
Boy Scout Troop 28 - Far Mill River; Rt 108 - 15 bags, 2 swingsets, an old truck
Girl Scout Troop 60394 - Nells Rock Reservoir - 4 bags
Belden Family - Kneen/Long Hill Ave/Const. Blvd - 1 bag
Girl Scout Troop 60062 - Perry Hill School - 5 bags
Cub Scout Pack 20 - Sunnyside School - 20 bags
RND Landscaping - East Village Rd - 4 bags, bumper, drawer
Karen S - Ripton Road - 2 bags
Gil Pastore - Far Mill River - 2 bags, 2 tires, and a tarp
United Methodist Church - Todd Road - 4 bags
Gil Pastore - Mill Street - 2 bags
Pack 27 - East Village Park - 10 bags and a tire
GS Troops 60778 & 60443 - SHS and SIS - 1 bag
Ron and Preston - Mill Street - 5 bags

Many volunteers don't report their cleanups, so the above is just a fraction of the litter that was actually removed.  We are still working to persuade people to record their cleanups. An estimate of the total number of volunteers involved throughout Shelton is 500 people. 

Housatonic River Cleanup -
One of the filled dumpsters at Sunnyside Boat Launch

Kenny Bagdasarian
Constitution Blvd
The biggest single cleanup is always the Housatonic River Cleanup, which stages at Sunnyside Boat Launch. This year was no exception, even though the group had to contend with some rowing races being held on the river at the same time as the cleanup. The debris was even sorted for better disposal. Great job! The group posts lots of great photos on their Facebook Page.


This year we saw a big uptick in the number of High School students seeking to work independently picking up litter to earn Community Service hours. Shelton High requires ten hours per year, and the deadline is May 1. We have a webpage that explains exactly how to earn hours by picking up litter. In order to receive credit, students need to carefully document exactly when, where, and how much they cleaned up, and also submit photos. Students can also earn their hours by helping out with the Housatonic River Cleanup, but some students prefer to work independently in their own neighborhood, sometimes for the best scheduling flexibility.

We seem to have a drop in the number of Scouts participating and would like to know why that is. It does seem harder to get word out to all the Scouting groups in advance. And we no longer hold the recognition event where certificates are handed out with the Mayor. Is that a factor? We miss all those Scouting photos.  But we did get some photos from others. Great job, everyone!

MICA - Ivy Brook Road

One Hour Heating and Cooling - School Street

Troop 28 - Far Mill River near Gristmill Lane

Residents of Well Spring Estates - Old Stratford Road

Cleanup by George Waters, Shelton Canal

Friday, April 24, 2015

Looking for a Clean-up Event to Join?

Looking to join a group of people cleaning up Shelton?  Here are three opportunities happening Saturday, April 25, 2015:

1. Housatonic River Cleanup, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Sunnyside Boat Launch. This is a good event for high school students needing community service hours because their form can be signed on the spot (be sure to bring a form!).  This annual event is sponsored by Housatonic River Cleanup Inc. and is always the biggest cleanup in Shelton. Click HERE to view the flyer.

2. Shelton Land Trust Cleanup, 2:00 pm, Nicholdale Farm parking area (next to #322 Leavenworth Road/Rt 110).  Land Trust volunteers will be cleanup up litter along the Rt 110 frontage. That includes an old cow tunnel!  Note: The Shelton Land Trust is a private, non-profit organization that owns about 370 acres of open space.

3. Center Street, downtown Shelton, 9:00 - 10:30 am, sponsored by State reps Ben McGorty and Jason Perillo. Click HERE for more info.