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Pick-up America Stopping in Charlottesville - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Pick-up America Stopping in Charlottesville

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An effort to pick-up trash all across the country is working its way south down Route 29 to Charlottesville, and will be in full swing here on Saturday.

Volunteer organizers would like you to help. This newly formed group is small in size but has a big mission.

They've already covered 300 miles in four months, and 97 of those miles have come in Virginia. All they need to do their job are some trash bags and a liter stick.

They're hitting Route 29, picking up the trash you've left behind. "We're pulling out all these natural resources from our earth that are just coming in and out of our lives," said Jeff Chen.

In their one-mile stretch on Route 29 north they found pieces of tire, beer bottles, and cigarette butts among the garbage on the side of the road.

"This trash on the side of the road is a reflection of us," said Chen,"A lot of stuff we find is a lot of people's dirty pleasures."

But this group takes pleasure in picking up trash. The idea came to Chen five years ago while hiking in Yosemite National Park. He was disgusted with the amount of trash he found.

"On the way back down we picked up every single piece of trash," said Chen, "It was 8.5 miles." His friend since middle school, Kelly Klein, loved the idea and joined in.

"It's an important message and important statement we're making," Klein said, "I think it's going to make a profound impact.

The message is to be a zero waste society. So far, the group has cleaned up parts of Baltimore and Washington DC.

Pickup America is tackling the streets of Charlottesville this weekend, and they need volunteers. They're meeting at the Amtrak station Saturday and Sunday at 10 in the morning.

Reported by Julie Bercik
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