CANTON — Led by the Canton Fire Department, volunteers scoured the roads Sunday to clean up debris, including more than 300 tires.

Fire Chief Shane Gallant said 14 volunteers, who included firefighters and their families, gathered at 7 a.m and cleaned two miles of Route 140 and some secondary roads. They found garbage, building and automotive supplies, carpets, mattresses and shingles, besides the tires.

“They did good, other than everyone being covered in ticks by the end,” he said.

Gallant credited Assistant Chief Jason Vaughan with the idea for a roadside cleanup. Vaughan thought the department should take advantage of the town’s supply of dumpsters for their annual residential cleaning effort.

With no extra money in the town budget for a tire dumpster, Gallant said the department rented a dumpster and filled it. He said they could have filled two more.

Gallant said he was alerted to an embankment on Meadowview Road where as many as 60 tires were dumped. The crew formed a human chain, handing up each tire to a waiting truck.

Although Canton makes no secret of its available dumpsters for spring cleanup, Gallant said some people just don’t get the message.

At one point, it appeared the dumpers were only hours ahead of them, depositing rugs and hardwood flooring on the roadside which had yet to be dampened by dew and showers.

In all, Gallant said spirits were high among the volunteers despite being tired and sweaty. There was no post-cleansing celebration as the crew dispersed around 2 p.m. in search of showers.

This year was a start in what Gallant would like to see as an annual all-day event. He would like to see it accompanied with a cookout so at least he can keep his volunteers fed, he said.

It may be catching on already.

Gallant said, “We actually had one woman, Linda Gammon, in town, who said she would work on Pinewood Road next to her (home) this week.”

After being offered the Fire Department’s services to remove her trash bags, she politely refused the help, saying she would take them to the dump.

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