Bristol ponders BacVac for downtown litter

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Downtown Bristol could be as clean as Walt Disney World.

"If you've ever walked around Disney, it's so clean, as if you're the first person that's ever been there," said Councilman Halsey Herreshoff during a recent Town Council meeting.

"And I think the Town of Bristol can be just as clean."

While the issue of litter in downtown Bristol hasn't been a hot topic, Mr. Herreshoff brought it to the forefront earlier in October, suggesting that the town purchase a littler vacuum to help keep the streets clean.

"Everyone admires Bristol," he said. "If we can make downtown so you can eat off the sidewalk, that would be a wonderful thing. I want to fry an egg off the sidewalk next summer. That would be great."

Mr. Herreshoff suggested the town buy a litter-vac, called a BacVac. The machine is cordless, and can holdup to 100 pounds of trash. The cost is about $2,100 for one.

"It would be taking on some more work, but I think it's doable," said Jim Galuska, head of the Department of Public Works. "I think (we) would see a huge improvement. I don't think it's that bad right now, but there are some areas where we tend to get a lot of coffee cups and cigarette butts."

Mr. Galuska said he'd dedicate an employee for two hours, twice a week, to vacuum the streets. It would not be used to aid in the Fourth of July parade cleanup, he stressed.

"(The parade) would be overwhelming for something like that," he said. "The DPW takes care of the Fourth cleanup. Once the cleanup is done, you'd never know we had had a parade."

Council members are expected to approve funding the vacuum at its next meeting, Nov. 20.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.