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'Butts' cleanup draws few helpers
Small turnout for cleanup event

 Megan Parry of the downtown shop Beaucoup Vintage is using recycled T-shirts as merchandise bags.
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Date published: 11/13/2011

BY BILL FREEHLING

Paula Chow and Nancy Quinn had a tall task yesterday morning: Clean up Fredericksburg's City Dock area on their own.

Chow and Quinn, along with a reporter and photographer, were the only people who showed up for an event to clean up cigarette butts downtown. That didn't deter the two women from donning gloves and picking up discarded butts at the Sophia Street park.

The Clean Up the Butts Campaign was part of a weeklong series of events in the region to celebrate America Recycles Week. The Rappahannock Group Sierra Club and the Ten Thousand Villages store in Central Park organized the events.

Chow participates in both the Fredericksburg Clean and Green Commission and the local Sierra Club. She said some of the events earlier in the week had a better turnout, but overall, organizers were hoping for more community involvement. She plans to work with area schools next year to bring out more volunteers and participants.

Each of the events held this past week promoted recycling and reuse. Tours were given of the landfill in Stafford County, the Rappahannock Goodwill Industries warehouse and the Aikido in Fredericksburg dojo.

Participants were urged to shop with reusable bags. Megan Parry, who owns the Beaucoup Vintage store in downtown Fredericksburg, held a demonstration on how to make shopping bags from T-shirts. She is collecting donated T-shirts at her William Street store, and said she'll offer the bags to customers if people continue to bring in the shirts.

The week's closing celebration will be held starting at noon today at the local Ten Thousand Villages store. People who participated in numerous events will be eligible for door prizes donated by area businesses.

Chow said many local businesses were generous in their support. She hopes that next year the community turns out more to promote recycling and reuse.

"People are missing out," Chow said.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com