Students conduct cleanup of adopted section of Interstate 390

WGSU Photograph Jack Rafferty, a SUNY Geneseo student and member of the WGSU-FM staff, holds a crinkled license plate that was found during the clean-up of a section of Interstate 390 adopted by the SUNY Geneseo college radio station.

A crinkled license plate and a pool noodle were among the items picked up during a roadside cleanup near Exit 8 on Interstate 390 by members of WGSU-FM, the SUNY Geneseo college radio station.

More than a half-dozen members of the station spent part of Saturday during their semi-annual highway cleanup project.

“It’s a unique team-building exercise to help bridge the station and the community,” said Mary Wrynn, the station’s news director. Wrynn was participating in a cleanup for the third time.

The students started around 3 p.m. and worked for about an hour.

Teresa Cappiello, marketing director of WGSU, estimated the group collected about 20 pounds of garbage, including “a surprising amount of Styrofoam.”

The cleanup is part of the state’s “Adopt-A-Highway” program.

In addition to Cappiello and Wrynn, other participants were Ben Michalak; Jack Rafferty; Jada Atwood; Emma Mandella; Jesus Hernandez, host of “Geneseo Today”; and Becca Sisson, music/new media director.

A crew from WGSU also did a cleanup of the area in April. That group included Sisson and Wrynn, who said that there was a lot less trash – especially car parts – in the most recent cleanup.

“Overall, it was not a bad day weather-wise. The only thing that surprised me was the lack of litter,” said Capiello, who had previously participated in the station’s first cleanup effort in May 2017. Wrynn was also part of the initial effort.

As part of the “Adopt-a-Highway” program, the adopters commit to picking up litter along that section of state highway for two years.

WGSU joined the program in 2017 and conducted its first cleanup in May that year, along a two-mile stretch of Interstate 390, both north- and south-bound directions.

“Between May 2017 and now, I’ve noticed a lot less trash on the highway,” Capiello said, not that the program is a good way to give back to the community.

The cleanup sessions have retrieved tires, license plates, a car muffler, automobile parts including mirrors, headlight glass and plastic pieces, such as a bumper; a strap with a crank on it, lots of plastic bottles, chip and snack bags and paper cups and even an animal skeleton.

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