Warwick's expanded Operation Clean Sweep 2018 credited as successful

Apr 30 2018 | 01:37 AM

— Michael Johndrow, executive director of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce, is pleased that so many organizations, businesses and individuals contributed to another successful "Operation Clean Sweep," the annual roadside cleanup sponsored by the Chamber.
This year's event was much different in that Operation Clean Sweep was changed from a weekend to a weeklong event that ran from Earth Day, April 22, to Sunday, April 29.
On Saturday, April 28, volunteers were invited to stop by the table outside the Chamber's South Street Caboose office to pick up free rubber gloves, courtesy of St. Anthony Community Hospital, and garbage bags, supplied by both Warwick ShopRite and Price Chopper. As usual, Tuscan Café provided the coffee to go along with the ShopRite muffins.
Each year various groups, clubs and individuals take part by pre-registering their routes in order to ensure garbage pickup by the Department of Public Works on the following Monday and Tuesday. And each year the county also waves the landfill fee.
However, there are many others who participate in the Town wide event.
"We believe there were more volunteers who participated this year," said Johndrow, "But since they had all week, most people volunteered on their own without registering."
Multiple eventsIn addition to the roadside clean up, there were several other scheduled programs that day.
The Warwick Lions Club, for example, held an old eyeglass and hearing aid collection and provided a shredding truck, at its own expense, for the benefit of local residents.
The Computer Guy hosted an electronics-recycling program and a used cell phone collection was held courtesy of The National Coalition against Domestic Violence. And once again Leo Kaytes Ford accepted used motor oil.
The annual "pill drop" organized by the Warwick Valley Coalition in cooperation with the Warwick Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) collected approximately 150 pounds of unused prescription and over the counter medications.
Changing of the guardThis year's Operation Clean Sweep, which originated in 1990, was coordinated by the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce and Warwick Valley High School Senior Julia Vargas, a member of Girl Scout Troop 423.
After six years, Vargas, who is heading off to college, is turning over that responsibility to Elizabeth Verboys, a member of Girl Scout Troop 733.
Johndrow praised Vargas for her many years of dedication and hard work to make every Operation Clean Sweep a success and he thanked Verboys for accepting the challenge.
- Roger Gavan