Hundreds of Roosevelt Middle School students will be cleaning up the south end on Thursday, May 15. The event is a partnership between Roosevelt Middle School, Operation Clean Sweep and the City of New Bedford.
According to Keep America Beautiful, over 51 billion pieces of litter land on U.S. roadways each year. “Litter can affect both land and marine animals. Six pack rings can get stuck around an animal’s head or neck injuring or killing them. Turtles can mistake floating plastic bags for jellyfish that they eat,” said Marissa Perez-Dormitzer, New Bedford’s recycling coordinator.
Roosevelt Middle School Health Teacher Deb Dixon said, “This is the fifth year of the cleanup. It gives the students the opportunity to help out their community.”
To make it more interesting, the students compete to see which grade in the school picks up the most trash. Each of the three grades in the school is assigned different colored trash bags. The Department of Public Infrastructure helps out by weighing each color trash bag. The students will also pick up any recyclable material they see as they go along. In 2013, the students collected 500 pounds of trash.
Operation Clean Sweep organizes litter cleanups throughout New Bedford. The next clean up will take place on May 17th from 8:30 to noon with the headquarters at St. Luke’s Hospital parking lot on Hawthorn & Page Street. For more information, visit www.operationcleansweep.net. All area schools are encouraged to participate in neighborhood cleanups.