Minnesota 'Superstar,' 77, Picks Up at Least 15 Pounds of Trash Each Week amid Climate Crisis

·2 min read

A Minnesota man is doing his part to help the environment by picking up 15 lbs. of trash a week.

Doug Eichten, 77, of Plymouth, picks up trash along a two-mile stretch of Bass Lake Road six days a week, according to CBS affiliate WCCO-TV and CCX Media.

He collects all kinds of items, too, from pop cans, beer cans and fast-food boxes to clothing, cigarette boxes and dirty diapers, per WCCO-TV. The only things he won't pick up are roadkill and cigarette butts.

"Nothing surprises me with this trash thing anymore," he told the outlet. "The volume of it continues to be unbelievable.

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Eichten participates in the Hennepin County Adopt-a-Highway program, in which citizens volunteer their time to help pick up litter, CCX Media reported.

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The man was inspired to collect in his neighborhood after seeing roadside trash during a trip to Florida, per WCCO-TV.

Now, Eichten gives the environment a helping hand by collecting 15 lbs. of litter, if not more, each week.

"Knowing that I'm doing something that can protect the wildlife is really important," he told CCX Media.

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Eichten doesn't believe in accidental litter, either. "It's all either thrown out of the car or trucks that don't tie down loads. None of it's necessary," he told CCX Media.

Among his main concerns is where some of the trash will end up, such as the Gulf of Mexico.

"All of this stuff, on a decent rain, goes into the storm sewers, into the ponds, into the creeks, heads for the Mississippi," he told WCCO-TV. "And God forbid, it makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico."

"It endangers wildlife," he added. "It's more about that than it is the look of it."

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Hennepin County spokesperson Carolyn Marinan, who is Doug's neighbor, calls the man a "superstar."

"We can always use more people like Doug," she told CCX Media, later adding, "It takes everybody doing something."

Eichten hopes to inspire the next generation of environmentally aware citizens, too.

"I hope it's used with the children as a teaching moment. Because there's no need for it and it should be unacceptable," he told WCCO-TV. "You can complain about these things, or you can do something about them."