TEWKSBURY — The Tewksbury Beautification Committee announces the Fall Clean Up-Half Way to Earth Day on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. Residents may stop by the town common to pick up bags, gloves, and safety vests before heading out to pick up trash. The event runs 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. and residents are encouraged to stop by whenever convenient. Even an hour can make a big difference, according to event organizers.
There will be a special focus on collecting nips this year. Nips are miniature alcohol bottles which are also known as airplane bottles, typically containing hard liquor. Nips are a term derived from the word “nipperkin,” a unit of liquid measurement containing less than a pint, usually containing approximately 1.7 ounces of distilled spirits.
The bottles are discarded out car windows, thus avoiding an open container of alcohol violation for an operator. The recent energy drink craze is causing an additional layer of refuse as single shot bottles are also making an appearance on roadsides.
During the town clean up, participants will be given a separate bag to collect nips and create a pile at town common.
Beautification Committee member and Selectperson Jayne Wellman Miller said, “Nip bottles, by volume, comprise a remarkable portion of the litter we see in Tewksbury along our roads. By the Beautification Committee making a separate collection during the fall clean up, we can show residents the tremendous impact these bottles have on our streetscapes.”
During the spring clean up, one resident collected over 300 nip bottles from International Drive. The bottles are plastic and are recyclable, however, the items have become a drink and toss type of refuse, creating a blight on the landscape. Additionally, the nips are indicative of a drinking and driving element in the community.
There is legislation seeking to add a five cent deposit to nip bottles as part of the bottle bill to try to curb the litter. Some communities have enacted an outright ban. During the spring 2019 town clean up, residents collected more than 200 bags of trash, material that included single-use plastic bags, nips, polystyrene take out containers, tires, plastic drinking straws, beer, wine and spirits bottles, and foam cups.
The trash collected is inventoried to determine measures that the community can undertake to help educated residents about the optimal ways to recycle their materials.