Green Up Day Sees Tons of Trash Picked up in Vt.

The annual volunteer event is Saturday.

Saturday is Green Up Day in Vermont — one of the state's longest-running and most iconic annual traditions.

For 49 years now, volunteers have fanned out across the state on the first Saturday in May, picking up litter across some 13,000 miles of roadway.

Friday, some Vermonters got a head-start on the work.

Employees of the Winooski soap manufacturer TwinCraft Skincare picked up litter on streets surrounding their headquarters.

Participant Jason Smith found an old vacuum dumped in the woods and hauled it out.

"I've done these [clean-up efforts] before in other areas, but it's amazing just across the street in the woods there how much trash we pulled out," Smith told necn. "There was probably four bags, just across the street!"

Last year, the effort reached 240 towns statewide, with 23,000 people collecting 225 tons of trash, according to Green Up Day organizers.

"That's a lot," Twincraft's Lisa Ashley said. "I think when the snow melts, everyone's a little surprised at what's hiding underneath."

Gov. Phil Scott did his part Friday, along with members of his administration, by picking up litter along Route 2 in Middlesex.

The governor calls Green Up Day key to Vermont's reputation as a good place to enjoy the outdoors.

"To have our roadsides cleaned up is really a statement about who are, and I think it's inviting to a lot of our tourists that come to the state," Scott said at a press conference Thursday promoting Green Up Day.

This year, Green Up Day is going high-tech, with a new app available to help volunteer groups figure out which parts of their cities and towns need attention.

Lisa Ashley said she hopes the spirit of Green Up Day lasts throughout the year in Vermont.

"I feel like we can all do our part, and if you walk by something, just pick it up so it's not just once a year," she said. "Everyone has to go out and be cleaning this up."

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