Dorene Wadsworth had enough, and after months and months of letting it go, on Monday she finally did something.
Monday morning, from 10 to 12:30, Wadsworth picked up trash alongside Gardiners Wood Road. She was tired of seeing all the litter people were presumably throwing out of their cars and into the woods and committed herself to doing something about it.
“It makes me feel like I live in the slums somewhere,” Wadsworth said. “And it breaks my heart.”
The 52-year-old Waterford resident said she was raised to honor nature and to “make America beautiful.” She said the trash alongside the road has bothered her for a long time, but this weekend she committed herself to cleaning it up.
“I said on Monday, I’m going to utilize my morning to pick up the trash,” Wadsworth said. “It bugs me. I think (this weekend), it just bugged me enough.”
Wadsworth grew up in East Lyme and was laid off from Pfizer earlier this year. She said looking for a job can be "discouraging and depressing" and cleaning the trash Monday provided her with a break from applying for jobs, a chance to help out the community and even some exercise.
She said people used to be more prideful in their communities and would not throw their trash out of their car windows or dump it into the woods. She said she hoped the community could come together and focus on not littering and keeping the area they live in clean.
“What I would love to see is people stop littering,” Wadsworth said. “That’s the message I would like to get out.”
In a few hours, she filled up seven bags of garbage after cleaning just half of the road. She said she was going to come back again and finish the road, because that’s the way she was raised.
“My father always said that either you do something right or you don’t do it at all,” Wadsworth said. “So I’m going to come back and finish it, because I really want to do a good job.”