PLYMOUTH, Minn. — There’s a trash man in Plymouth, who doesn’t have his own garbage truck, but still covers a lot of ground.

Armed with his Nifty Nabber, 77-year-old Doug Eichten walks a busy, two-mile stretch of Bass Lake Road several times a week.

He’s been doing this for six years – inspired by the roadside trash he was seeing while visiting Florida. So he got his own stretch of road back home.

Each week his goal is 15 pounds of trash. Quite often, he picks up even more. 

“Nothing surprises me with this trash thing anymore. The volume of it continues to be unbelievable,” said Eichten.

There are only two things he won’t pick up: roadkill – for obvious reasons – and cigarette butts. He says if he picked up every single one of those he’d be picking up litter for weeks.

He’s found pop cans, beer cans, cigarette boxes and fast food boxes. Even clothing and dirty diapers.

Doug’s picked up a few lessons along the way. His main reason for doing this isn’t to make the roadways look good. It’s to help the environment.

“All of this stuff, on a decent rain, goes into the storm sewers, into the ponds, into the creeks, heads for the Mississippi. And God forbid, it makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico,” said Doug. “It endangers wildlife. It’s more about that than it is the look of it.”

So he marches on, hoping to set an example that doesn’t go to waste.

“I hope it’s used with the children as a teaching moment. Because there’s no need for it and it should be unacceptable,” said Eichten. “You can complain about these things, or you can do something about them.”

Doug wants to thank his neighbor Carolyn Dutton and her crew for helping him.

For his part, Doug has worn out four Nifty Nabbers in six years. That’s how much trash he’s picked up.

His daughter has also adopted an area to pick up litter near Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis.

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: Mr Blow Up