Volunteers pitch in for roadside cleanup

Joe Rupp cleans up trash on the roadside on state Route 3 Tuesday. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

BLOOMINGDALE — A group of men from the Bloomingdale-Gabriels Knights of Columbus donned bright orange and yellow vests and went out on the state Route 3 roadside Tuesday morning to clean up all the trash motorists left there in the past few months.

Joe Rupp said they cleanse this stretch of road from St. Paul’s Oratory to the Saranac Lake Central School District bus garage three times a year. They have an arrangement with the state Department of Transportation to do this.

He’s done this for around a decade, himself, but said the KOC has been doing it for even longer.

“We shouldn’t even be in existence for this, but people are just that way,” Rupp said. “It’s a shame.”

He was picking up wrappers, beer cans, cigarette packs and other flotsam — standard fare. But this year, there’s been something new — surgical masks that have been worn during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I never saw one before, other than in a hospital,” Rupp said as he bagged one of the discarded masks.

Rupp said this is the last cleanup before winter sets in.


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