Volunteers needed for West Bloomfield’s spring cleanup

By: Andy Kozlowski | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published April 11, 2019

 Passing motorists have contributed to the debris strewn along Farmington Road.

Passing motorists have contributed to the debris strewn along Farmington Road.

Photo by Deb Jacques

 For its third annual spring cleanup, the township of West Bloomfield is seeking volunteers to help clean up Middlebelt and Farmington roads, north of Maple Road.

For its third annual spring cleanup, the township of West Bloomfield is seeking volunteers to help clean up Middlebelt and Farmington roads, north of Maple Road.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — It’s time to tidy up the township.

For the third year in a row, volunteers will come together for a spring cleanup, this time focusing on Farmington and Middlebelt roads, north of Maple Road.

The cleanup will take place 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, April 27. Volunteers are asked to meet in the parking lot of Township Hall, located at 4550 Walnut Lake Road. Safety vests, gloves, picking sticks and trash bags will be provided to participants.

“We are recruiting volunteers, including township employees, to clean up the sides of major roads — usually on the grass, sidewalks and safety paths — that are replete with garbage,” said Steven Kaplan, the township supervisor, in an email. “Most of the rubbish accumulation stems from motorists tossing articles out of their cars and onto the side of the road. Such conduct causes blight and adversely affects the beautiful environment our residents and visitors hope to enjoy.”

In the event of inclement weather, the alternate date will be Saturday, May 3.

About 30 people helped pick up debris at the 2018 event, Clean-up with a Cop, which focused on Haggerty Road, between Maple Road and Pontiac Trail, filling half a rolling dumpster with trash.

And in 2017, the township hosted a cleanup focused on the same stretch of Haggerty Road.

This year’s cleanup will include assistance from the Oakland County Corrections Department’s Weekday and Weekend Alternative for Misdemeanants, focusing on litter pickup along Haggerty Road, as well as on Orchard Lake Boulevard, between 14 Mile and Maple roads.

“Litter always appears heavier this time of year because the snow has melted, and prior to the greenery filling in, it is very visible along roadways,” Kris D’Arcy, the executive assistant to the township supervisor, said in an email. “West Bloomfield Township prides itself on being proactive and cognizant of our responsibilities related to environmental issues, and our spring cleanup event is a wonderful opportunity for residents to make a big difference in their community.”

The cleanup comes amid community feedback raising concern about the litter issue.

“The township recently has received a bevy of phone calls from the residents upset by the growing amount of garbage near main streets,” Kaplan said. “The Road Commission (for Oakland County), in theory, is responsible for removing the rubbish, but a lack of funding nullifies any possibility of the Road Commission’s intervention. Likewise, the township does not feature a Department of Public Works, which otherwise could be assigned to clean up the roads.”

And that’s why volunteers are critically important here. With enough support, there could be additional cleanups this year, the supervisor said.

“We will consider hosting another cleanup event after April 27, should the public support this goal by serving on our volunteer cleanup crews,” Kaplan said.

If you are interested in helping to clean up the township, call Kris D’Arcy at (248) 451-4845.

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