73,000 Pounds of Trash Picked Up in One Year

I was driving on a major freeway the other day when a friend, who lives in Europe, asked me about how our roads get cleaned and who picks up the trash. I told him about the “Adopt-a-Highway” programs and the occasional pickup by people doing community service instead of time in jail, but I’ve been noticing how dirty the highways are and that neither of these programs seems to be able to keep the roads clean. A nonprofit started by two recent college graduates is literally hoping to change the landscape.

Pick Up America is walking coast-to-coast to pick up trash and educate America about the amount of waste we produce and the amount of litter cluttering our roads, highways and parks. In 2010, the team of volunteers traveled 735 miles and removed over 73,000 pounds of trash. Along the way, they spoke at 40 schools and co-hosted more than 70 events. A primary objective in 2010 was to produce a documentary about the amount of waste on the roads and what it would take to clean it up.

In 2011, Pick Up America wants to do even more and plans to travel from Ohio to Colorado picking up trash, educating the public, working with local non-profits and raising awareness. One of their plans is to create art pieces in several major cities made out of trash they collect along the road.

You can help Pick Up America and their Bagabounds project in a couple of different ways:

StartSomeGood is a new social enterprise that allows others to contribute financially to other social innovators. To support the Bagabounds Project for Pick Up America, visit StartSomeGood

Photo credit: Pick Up America


Gina D.
Gina Denholm6 years ago

Same here in UK. The roadsides are very dirty. Seems like the Western world is a bunch of litter louts whilst In Eastern Europe the streets, public transport and countryside are all more or less spotless.
Hats off to the youth of America who are trying to improve things.

Rose N.
Past Member 6 years ago

Wow! That's a lot of trash!

Thank you for posting.

Barbara S.

What a great bunch of people. How I wish they were in my area again in De. I would love to let them eat a hot meal and sleep in a warm bed in my home. Hope they don't give up on the aim of showing people what trash is doing to America.

Linda Robinson
Past Member 6 years ago

Thank you for posting this - I'm going to get involved. Art from trash - I'm in!

Peg R.
Randolph M7 years ago

It is a great thing to do. It would be even better if the public would stop throwing garbage out their windows and on the ground. It's time to grow up Americans and be responsible!

Maira Sun
Maira Sun7 years ago


Chavonne Harvey
Chavonne H7 years ago

wow, what a wonderful thing, I like this. It's also a good way to get exercise I know that walking is very important and then you can help the environment too.

Ioney W.
Ioney W7 years ago

Great Job

Sarah Zemke
Sarah Z7 years ago

Thanks guys! You guys are awesome!

Ernest R.
Ernest R7 years ago

@ Amanda M. Beautiful kid.