Canceled in 2020, Bristol cleanup returns May 1 this year

Posted 4/10/21

Chelsey Barton-Karnes, chairman of Bristol’s annual town-wide cleanup, is ready to get back to business. “Last year we were not able to do our town-wide cleanup; it would have been our …

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Canceled in 2020, Bristol cleanup returns May 1 this year

Posted

Chelsey Barton-Karnes, chairman of Bristol’s annual town-wide cleanup, is ready to get back to business. “Last year we were not able to do our town-wide cleanup; it would have been our 31st annual … so it has been around for a really long time,” she said this week.

At the last Bristol Town Council meeting, Wednesday, March 24, Ms. Barton-Karnes submitted a request to the council to approve the event for Saturday, May 1, from 9 a.m. to noon. Predictably, it was met with universal approval.

“In previous years we’ve had between a hundred and two hundred volunteers,” she said. Divided among nearly 40 dedicated cleanup sites throughout the town, volunteers fill bags while town employees drive around and pick everything up. “It’s just a wonderful community event, and it gets everybody excited about keeping our beautiful town beautiful.”

Pandemic protocol will necessitate minimal procedural changes, since the event is entirely outdoors. Supply pickup at DPW headquarters at the beginning of the day (including the requisite coffee and doughnuts) will just involve outdoor stations and prepackaged materials.

The cleanup effort will also be getting a boost this year, courtesy of a grant from The Recycling Partnership, an organization that helped fund the town’s new automated recycling carts. “They gave us some grant money, and we are doing a little bit of rebranding: it’s the Keep Bristol Clean Coastal Cleanup.”

“We’re just really excited; we’re hoping to get lots and lots of volunteers this year and get everybody out in beautiful weather and cleaning up the town,” said Ms. Barton-Karnes.

Interested in helping? Email Ms. Barton-Karnes at cbarton@bristolri.gov, or call the Public Works Department at 401/253-4100. Volunteers are welcome to select a site or have one assigned to them.

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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.