Bags left for collectors on South Street in Bennington.
Bags left for collectors on South Street in Bennington. (Derek Carson — Bennington Banner)

BENNINGTON — Green bags along roadsides became on common sight on Saturday, as Vermonters banded together to clean up the state.

The 46th annual Green Up Day took place across the state, with bags available at most town offices and transfer station.

Vermont was the first state to designate a statewide cleanup day when Gov. Deane C. Davis founded it in 1970. A nonprofit, Green Up Vermont was founded in 1979 to organize the event. It aims to "raise public awareness about the benefits of a litter-free environment," according to its website. Last year, 186 participants in Bennington filled 315 bags of trash for a total weight of 1,480 pounds, according to town Green Up Day Coordinator Raymond "R.J." Joly. Last year, across the state, 21,000 volunteers filled over 50,000 bags of trash from the state's roadsides. The final total was over 200 tons of garbage, including over 5,000 discarded tires.

One World Conservation Center also organized a cleanup of the 96-acre Norman and Selma Greenberg Conservation Reserve on Route 7 in Bennington as part of Green Up Day, the first of what director Holly Betit hoped would become an annual clean-up day for the Reserve.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.