Cleaning for a cause

By: Rob Hughes Email
By: Rob Hughes Email

DELTA COUNTY, Colo (KKCO) The volunteers have walked thousands of miles and picked up thousands of pounds of trash nationwide.

In Delta County, you can find beer bottles and beer cans on the side of the road. The volunteers say it seems like the trash is never ending and they want to give up, but what fuels their passion is the fact that with every piece of trash they pick up, they're making the world a better place.

"Over the course of three seasons, three eight-month seasons, we've picked up around 172,000 pounds of litter over 3,100 miles," said Davey Rogner, a volunteer from Silver Spring, Maryland.

"Pick Up America" is the nation's first coast-to-coast roadside litter pickup.

"We're doing this mission to encourage zero waste, and what I call 'cultural sustainability' in America: respecting the land around us and really getting the most from this and living responsibly," said Rogner.

Young people volunteer from all over the country to pick up trash on the side of the road.

"There is another certain folks who are more consuming things personally, rather than taking care of the earth, or taking care of their family, or taking care of their community," Rogner said.

The movement started two years ago in Maryland. Volunteers rely on donations and hospitality from complete strangers.

"People that you meet along the way are wonderful. I've never traveled very extensively until I came out here, so it's a whole different world," said Laura Caldie, another volunteer from Columbus, Indiana.

The volunteers plan to be in Grand Junction in a few weeks.

"This is about my generation, and future generations living on the planet," added Jeff Chen, another volunteer from Columbia, Maryland.

The volunteers will end their journey this fall in San Francisco,
California.

"We're talking about a social movement to respect the earth, to connect with the earth, to build community. This is outside of politics. This is independent of politics," says Rogner.

In comparison, on Monday, they picked up 700 pounds of trash in six miles in Delta County. On Tuesday, they actually found $15 on the side of the road. They're doing this for free, but they say you can't put a price tag on the cause they're promoting.

For more information on "Pick Up America, including how you can donate, volunteer, or even host the volunteers, visit www.pickupamerica.org. You can also find Pick Up America on Twitter and Facebook.


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