Plymouth resident collects 15 pounds of trash a week to help the environment

PLYMOUTH, Minnesota. – There is a scavenger in Plymouth who doesn’t have his own garbage truck, but he covers a lot of ground.

Armed with his Nifty Nabber, 77-year-old Doug Eichten traverses the busy three-kilometre stretch of Bass Lake Road several times a week.

He’s been doing this for six years, inspired by roadside trash he saw while visiting Florida. So he got his section of the road home.

Every week, his goal is 15 pounds of garbage. Quite often he gains even more.

“Nothing surprises me anymore about this trash. Its volume continues to be incredible,” Eichten said.

There are only two things he won’t pick up: those killed on the road – for obvious reasons – and cigarette butts. He says that if he collected every single one of them, he would pick up trash for weeks.

He found soda cans, beer cans, cigarette boxes, and fast food boxes. Even clothes and dirty diapers.

Doug learned a few lessons along the way. His main reason for doing this is not to make the roads look good. This is helping the environment.

“All this stuff goes into storm drains in good rain, in ponds, in streams, goes to Mississippi. And God forbid, it ends up in the Gulf of Mexico, ”said Doug. “It endangers wildlife. It’s more about that than appearance.”

So he goes forward, hoping to set an example that will not go to waste.

“I hope this is used with children as a learning moment. Because it is not necessary and it must be unacceptable,” Eichten said. “You can complain about these things, or you can do something about it.”

Doug wants to thank his neighbor Caroline Dutton and her team for helping out.

For his part, Doug wore down four Nifty Nabbers in six years. That’s how much garbage he collected.

His daughter also chose a garbage collection area near Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis.