By Paul Tennant
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — North Andover is about to undergo a thorough, no-holds-barred cleanup.
The town is celebrating a belated Earth Day on Saturday by sending volunteers to all corners of the community in pursuit of litter and trash that have been strewn about the landscape.
Organized by the Sustainability Committee, the massive cleansing will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Volunteers are asked to show up at the Department of Public Works headquarters, 384 Osgood St., by 8:30.
Gloves will be provided and several people have volunteered to drive their trucks to collect debris from locations all over the town. Susan Almono, chairwoman of the Sustainability Committee, said the areas that will be cleaned include Willow Street, Sharpners Pond Road, Osgood Street and the town’s many playgrounds.
Ridding North Andover’s byways, playgrounds and other venues of rubbish is not the only “green” item on Saturday’s agenda. Compost bins will be on sale for $40, with the check payable to Town of North Andover.
In addition to leaves and grass clippings, waste from the dining table and kitchen — including coffee grounds, egg shells, rotten or partially eaten fruit and vegetables — is compostable.
The garbage that you toss into a wastebasket will add to the town’s solid waste cost — and your real estate tax bill. On the other hand, the food waste that’s dropped into a compost bin will decompose, along with the dead leaves and grass, into very fertile soil.
It’s advisable not to put meat into a compost bin because it may attract rodents.
Residents will also have the opportunity to order rain barrels — and thereby reduce their water bills. The barrels cost $75 and checks should be made payable to Sky Juice. They will be delivered June 1.
Rather than tearing up papers you’d prefer to keep confidential and tossing them into a trash can — into the waste stream, in other words — Earth Day will offer a Document Shredding Event from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
Sponsored by Cintas, residents will be able to put bank statements, invoices, tax returns, personnel records and other potentially sensitive papers through a shredding machine. The shredded paper, of course, will be recycled and not dumped into the trash.
Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. will provide a gigantic trash bin and workers to help with the cleanup. The Department of Public Works will also contribute workers as well as trucks.
Besides Almono, other Sustainability Committee members helping to organize Earth Day include Craig Wheeler, Stephen Foster, Lisa Conti and Martha Mittelstaedt.
At last night’s committee meeting, Wheeler predicted there will be an ample turnout Saturday.
“We’ll get lots of people,” he said.