Long-time residents clean up Wareham for ‘The Cause’

Oct 3, 2022

If you see a group of people cleaning up trash on the side of the road on a Saturday morning in Wareham, odds are local resident Matthew Buckingham is one of them.

“I literally grew up here,” Buckingham said, emphasizing his connection to Wareham. He and his friends were “bog rats,” he said, always getting into the muck of cranberry bogs and enjoying the outdoors.

Over the past few years though, the resident has gotten into a different sort of mess: picking up trash from the roads of Wareham every Saturday. He’s often joined by coworkers and friends, who all clean the town for what they call “The Cause.”

It’s just, “because,” Buckingham says: “Because” they love the town, grew up here and don’t want to see it dirty or covered in garbage.

The effort started about three years ago, before the pandemic began. When the town had to change its trash policy and open the transfer station, people began dumping bigger items on the side of the road, Buckingham said.

From TVs to fish tanks to doors to tires, trash piled up on street shoulders.

For residents like Buckingham who talk about their pride in Wareham, that was too much.

“It’s beautiful,” the resident said of the town, adding that from the ponds to the woods to the oyster bays, Wareham’s natural beauty is evident. “I think everybody is collectively about nature and keeping things clean.

“We kinda got sick of looking at stuff driving down the road.”

Though Buckingham and others took a break from weekend cleanups during the summer heatwave, he said they’re looking forward to getting back out and tidying up town soon. Those interested in joining him can contact Buckingham on Facebook, he said, and cleanups are usually scheduled around 9 a.m. on Saturday.