Wed, Dec 30, 2009 - Page 7 News List

Shredding machine in Times Square helps erase 2009

AP , NEW YORK

Want to forget 2009? Shred it.

Scores of New Yorkers and tourists seeking a fresh start in the new year came to Times Square on Monday to put their bad memories through the shredder at the third annual Good Riddance Day.

Ben Winnick, of Connecticut, shredded a newspaper story about the New York Giants’ 41-9 loss on Sunday to the Carolina Panthers, which ended the Giants’ playoff hopes.

“Hopefully, next season will be better,” he said.

The winner of a US$250 prize for most creative item shredded was 12-year-old Alissa Yankelevits of Los Angeles, who is visiting her grandparents in New York. She shredded the memory of a counselor on a school trip who was later featured on the TV show America’s Most Wanted.

“I just spent a week with him,” Alissa said. “It was really terrifying because I just found that out.”

Good Riddance Day was organized by the Times Square Alliance as part of the buildup to tomorrow’s ball-drop celebration.

Participants lined up near the booth where discount theater tickets are sold and pitched their bad memories into an industrial-sized shredder. A dumpster and a sledgehammer were available for items that couldn’t be shredded.

Gillian Lyons broke up with a man she calls “the Beastmaster” and said she’s been waiting for him to return her possessions for two years.

“He won’t give me back the TV I paid for,” she complained.

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