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