Ten Mile River in Attleboro in remarkably good shape as volunteers regroup after pandemic for town cleanup | Coronavirus

ATTLEBORO – After more than a year of waiting, the Ten Mile River Cleanup crew, including members of the Attleboro Youth Commission, were ready to dive on Saturday and continue their work to keep the river and its own community.

Starting at the Community Garden and continuing along Riverwalk Drive, at least two dozen garbage bags were filled with used lottery tickets, pine bottles, plastic bags and empty beer bottles, as well as take-out food containers and other miscellaneous waste. .

But among the notable discarded items, such as an Android phone, an empty wallet, a pogo stick, and a flat-screen TV, four hypodermic needles were found, much to the dismay of the Youth Commission.

Yet even with the lack of cleanup last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and its subsequent postponement from May due to the same concerns earlier in the year, the volunteers luckily found the river. remarkably free of litter.

“It hasn’t gotten any worse (in the two-year interval),” said former city councilor Brian Kirby, who spent his time wading nearly half a mile down the river. “I am very happy it was not worse.

Kirby was joined in the flowing water by recreation committee member Leo Johnson with another volunteer Michael Angelo following the two closely along the riverbank to help them get out what they could.

Lots of large, heavy tree branches in the river required the extra efforts of city councilor and cleanup volunteer Jay DiLisio to pull them out.

DiLisio was accompanied by his son Ryan, 15, and other members of the Youth Commission who worked tirelessly and confidently at their tasks, even when the disheartening sight of the trash was a cause for concern.

“It’s a little disgusting that some people (would do trash),” said Nate Ydrach, 12, of Attleboro. “This is their city and they just throw away their trash.”

It was Ydrach who found the empty wallet and Android phone, along with a pair of air capsules, while working alongside his older brother Will Ydrach, 15, and their father Luis.

“We should be more aware of cleaning up after ourselves,” said Will Ydrach.

Other items recovered from the river were hubcaps, pieces of metal staging equipment, and two bicycles.

“Every year that I do (the cleaning) we have found a bike,” said Ryan DiLisio.

But the discovery of the hypodermic needles did not make the Youth Commission or the adults laugh, who ensured that the needles were properly handled and placed in a secure container for proper disposal.

The bright side, however, was that the river was clean enough that Kirby, DiLisio, Johnson, Angelo, and town conservation officer Nick Wyllie were able to get as far as they did along the river. .

“By far it’s the furthest we’ve done in a single day,” Kirby said.

Even Roy Belcher, a member of the Attleboro Land Trust, saw an improvement in the morning’s cleanup efforts.

“The area along the river is cleaner than I’ve experienced in 25 years,” Belcher said.

The 15th annual cleanup was sponsored by Mayor Paul Héroux, the Land Trust and Conservation Commission, Dunkin ‘Donuts and the Friends of the 10 Mile River.

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