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A new twist to litter coverage: Pick Up Your Path to examine recycling … a chance meeting with Wes

Some Wednesdays I watch this guy lug my recycle bins to the back of his truck. I wonder where it goes and what happens to it. It's time to find out.

Virtually every bit of trash and litter I collect goes into recycle bins. Most of it, if not every last piece, should be recycled. At least I hope the debris is treated as reusable.

As a former news guy, I’m chagrined that more angles, tangents and spinoffs of litter control haven’t been pursued.

Hopefully that is about to change.

I intend to send a note to Charlotte’s Solid Waste Management department asking to visit their recycling center(s). We all deserve to see how so-called recyclables are actually recycled; where does the material from our bins go, who laboriously sorts through it and how much actually is reused.


Some Wednesdays I watch this guy lug my recycle bins to the back of his truck. I wonder where the litter goes and what happens to it. It’s time to find out.

If the department grants me access, there should be a plethora of varying news items and photos that come out of the visit.

I mean, it’s one thing to corral litter along our walkways and streets but it’s quite another thing entirely to see the bounty you pick up actually work its way through the belly of the recycle process beast into another serviceable product.

So we’ll see where things go from here. As they say, ‘Stay tuned.’

I’ve wondered in prior posts if someone was beating me to the punch – that’s said in a good way – in terms of trash and litter collection along my daily path. Some days there are stretches that look a little too clean, a little too tidy.

Finally, I have my answer. It’s a guy named Wes.

I wasn’t 300 yards into yesterday’s walk when a man is seen walking towards me along Sharon View Road. What’s in his hands is unmistakeable: plastic. And there’s only one reason for the fistfuls of junk: he picked it up.

Since I had a bag and this good samaritan didn’t, the offer was made for him to dump his haul into my bag. We introduced ourselves – his name is Wes – and talked to each other for a moment. He’s since become a Pick Up Your Path subscriber.

It’s great to have him on board. Now, if we could only enlist another few thousand like him …

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; one on 15 years of writing a weekly letter to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility. I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen letters as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 'Pick Up Your Path' and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

1 Comment on A new twist to litter coverage: Pick Up Your Path to examine recycling … a chance meeting with Wes

  1. Happy to do my part! I look forward to hearing how your recycling investigation goes. And, surprise, I’m a former news guy, too!

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