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Ovation: Neighborhood Garbage Picker Goes On Trash Walks To Combat Car Litter.


My house is “in the country”. And, while I wouldn’t consider it a rural neighborhood, the roads are all two lanes and there are no sidewalks, easements or bike paths. Nonetheless, I have neighbors that like to walk, jog or ride their bicycles. There are many hills in the area and most houses have gravel driveways. It’s not a community that’s conducive to exercise. Yet, there is one older neighbor that I think is really onto something and I hope he starts a trend … his own personal “adopt a road” program.

This neighbor, one that I have never met, is often spotted walking along the side of the road pushing a small shopping cart and carrying a “reacher” like those used by elderly arthritis sufferers to pick up or extend their reach to retrieve items otherwise not possible. He walks along the side of the road and picks up trash with the reacher and puts it in the shopping cart. He is my new favorite neighbor. He’s getting exercise not just by walking but by dragging the trash that he collects up and down the hills and he’s cleaning our neighborhood!

While quite a big of the litter along the roads in my neighborhood is reminiscent of the May 1, 2010 flooding that paralyzed the area, I think it’s fair to say that the vast majority is “car litter”. Garbage tossed from car windows by motorists that think that nobody will notice because there “in the country”. I’m sure he finds lots of fast-food items and probably a few beer cans. And, of course, there are always going to be cigarette butts (see previous Diatribe).

I’ve thought about this man as a subject for a blog post on several occasions. I’ve tried to take his photo, too, but the roads are winding and narrow and actually somewhat dangerous to be walking on, so drive-by photography is out of the question. I wish he would wear an orange vest or put a big bicycle flag on his shopping basket so that people will see him as he exercises and cleans our roadways.

I don’t know how often he walks or how much trash he collects but I know that it’s more than most of us.


From → Ovations

  1. Rene permalink

    A reminder to all of us that we can individually make a difference. Thank you for the inspiration, Mr. Garbage-Picker-Upper-Man!


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