Trash col­lec­tor’s 700kg tidyup

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - NI­CHOLAS MCBRIDE

Our very own Cap­tain Planet is clean­ing up the city, one walk to work at a time.

Fon­terra se­nior pack­ag­ing tech­nol­o­gist Tom Carr walks to work most days along Sum­mer­hill Dr with his trusty grab­ber and a rub­bish bag.

Carr es­ti­mated that since last year he had picked up about 700kg of rub­bish dur­ing his 2.5-kilo­me­tre walk to and from work each day.

‘‘It is just in­sane the amount of rub­bish,’’ he said.

Carr be­gan his cru­sade when he started walk­ing to work in March af­ter Fon­terra is­sued a 10,000 steps per day chal­lenge to em­ploy­ees.

‘‘I saw this rub­bish ev­ery­where and I de­cided to start pick­ing it up.‘‘

He made his es­ti­mate based on how many 20-litre bags he had filled. At the be­gin­ning he was fill­ing a bag a day. ‘‘You don’t no­tice it at first.’’ Carr said the amount he found var­ied, but had dropped off since he started.

‘‘Peo­ple ei­ther think I work for the coun­cil or I’m on pa­role,’’ he said.

But the re­ac­tion over­all was pos­i­tive.

‘‘Peo­ple do care about it, I have cer­tainly no­ticed peo­ple are very grate­ful.

‘‘A guy pulled over and said ‘I’ve seen you ev­ery day on my way to work, I just thought I’d stop and thank you’.

‘‘At least twice a week I have some­one stop me and dis­cuss it. The feed­back is cool but it is not why I do it.’’

His walks can turn up some in­ter­est­ing items such as a $20 note, a set of car keys, a Massey Univer­sity ID, a ho­tel key, a pair of sneak­ers, bike pumps and a mail­box.

Heather Knox, of the Palmy Dirty 30, is help­ing or­gan­ise the Clean Up Week ses­sions and be­lieved this was the first time Palmer­ston North had par­tic­i­pated in Clean Up Week.

‘‘We don’t know who drops it, but we have all got the power to change it.

‘‘Peo­ple don’t think there is any rub­bish around here be­cause they drive to work. Peo­ple who walk or bike know ex­actly how much rub­bish there is.’’

WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

Clean Up Man Tom Carr reck­ons he’s col­lected about 700kg of rub­bish in the past year.

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