By Christine Galeone
When Alan Rosenfield, an attorney, strolls through his Upton neighborhood lately, he sees more than birds nesting in the trees and flowers blooming. He said that he often encounters trash and recyclable items that have been unceremoniously dumped there.
“It takes the form of huge piles of waste, old household items, sometimes construction waste, alcohol containers, discarded lottery tickets, blue baggies containing dog fecal matter,” Rosenfield said. “More recently, on Fowler Street there have been incidents of discarded items that harm, damage and destroy our natural resources, habitats and the biodiversity of our community. I have seen discarded BBQ grills minus, thankfully, the gas tanks and larger items that might be furniture or actual trash bags.”
One of the ways that the Town of Upton encourages residents to properly dispose of items is through Upton’s Annual Hazardous Waste and Shredding Event. It will be held from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. on Saturday July 9 at the Department of Public Works, which is located at 100 Pleasant Street.
Upton residents with proof of residency will be allowed to bring up to 10 gallons or 10 pounds of hazardous waste to the event to dispose of for free. The items may include: non-latex consolidated paint; flammable liquids/solvents; lab pack chemicals; pesticides; herbicides; consolidated waste oil; small cans resins/adhesives; flammable resins/adhesives; antifreeze; aerosols; lead acid batteries; NiCad or lithium batteries and fluorescent bulbs. Syringes in puncture-proof containers, car batteries and confidential documents to be shredded will also be accepted at no charge. Tires under 25 inches will be accepted for $5 per car tire and $10 per truck tire, and propane tanks 60 pounds or less will be accepted for $3 per tank.
Dennis Westgate, Jr., the Director of the Department of Public Works, commented that the DPW hasn’t encountered a significant problem with illegal dumping of recyclable items. However, he noted that the Department has had issues with more typical littering.
To combat all littering, Rosenfield suggested a possible solution. He shared, “I wonder why our town fathers (officials) haven’t considered to entice those in our community, who perhaps are not able to afford proper disposal, with an area in the community, where if such items are left, the Town will properly recycle these items for no cost, and see they are properly removed from our community.”
Like other residents, Rosenfield hopes that everyone will be more considerate of others and the environment. He said, “Our objective as a community must be to keep our environment clean and realize such acts have a serious impact on wildlife and habitat.”