Glocester tries to tidy up a trash problem

Glocester tries to tidy up a trash problem

GLOCESTER – Eric LaRiviere moved to Glocester for its peace and natural beauty, but the latter, he said, is being threatened by a mounting trash problem in town.

“We have an inordinate amount of litter on our roadways,” LaRiviere said.

While driving down the streets in this rural community, the Sand Dam Association treasurer said he has spotted cardboard boxes, milk cartons, laundry detergent containers, and small bags of trash.

“A lot of the trash ends up in our lake,” he said.

He knows this firsthand, said LaRiviere, having lived on the Smith and Sayles Reservoir off Chestnut Hill Road for 10 years.

Tired of seeing debris in the water, LaRiviere and others in the Sand Dam Association are working with the Town Council to educate the public about problems associated with littering.

“I think a lot of the people in town are so used to seeing the trash, they don’t notice it anymore,” he said.

And most residents, he suspects, are not littering on purpose.

“Part of it, we believe, is from the transfer station,” he said, referring to the Glocester Transfer Station located at 121 Chestnut Hill Road. “I see the traffic to the transfer station every day and a lot of trash is not secured.”

On May 5, a public notice was posted on the Glocester town website reminding residents of Rhode Island General Law 31-25-10, which states that “No person shall operate on any highway any vehicle with any load unless the load and any covering on it is securely fastened ...”

Signs reminding residents to secure their load have also been posted at the transfer station entrance.

Town Council President George Steere Jr. said he hopes the increased signage will be effective in reminding residents to do their part and keep the community clean.

“It’s a problem in town,” Steere said. “We’ll be monitoring this.”

LaRiviere said he’s glad to have the council’s support, but ultimately, “it’s up to the residents to step up.”

He encourages drivers to buy a tarp or cables to secure trash being hauled in open bed trucks. In addition, residents are invited to attend community cleanup events, similar to the one held on Nov. 4 at Smith and Sayles Reservoir.

“Pretty much all we’re asking is for people to be responsible,” LaRiviere said. “We can all do our part.”