Most people walk by garbage on the streets and sidewalks. Some of them may notice, some don’t.
And, then there’s Billy Adams-he doesn’t just notice it, he also picks it up. All of it.
The 54-year-old man from Montgomery County has spent his walks into the District collecting trash in the city, filling at least two bags full of it.
Adams said this is something he does and it’s become his routine.
Software Executive Uses Walks to Collect Garbage on the Streets
Around 8:30 am every day, Adams leaves his home, right over the D.C. line, carrying a garbage bag or two in his hand.
He does a brisk 12-mile walk around the city. He usually walks the Massachusetts Avenue, the 14th Street, and squats continuously to collect the trash and put it into the bags.
Dressed in active wear, Adams is tracking his walking on a sports watch and collects all the garbage he sees, from plastic bottles to food wraps, beer cans, and a lot of disposable masks.
And, he doesn’t wear plastic gloves-he washes his hands whenever he makes a stop.
Eventually, he will turn towards home, from Q Street through Georgetown and there he drops the first bag with garbage into a public garbage can.
Starbucks People Know Him as the ‘Garbage Guy’
Along the way home, he stops at a Starbucks and orders a Grande Americano. He asks for a garbage can and leaves a $1 tip.
Employees there said they’ve come to know him as the ‘garbage guy’.
Nowadays, they have a bag ready for him when he visits. Ahmed Oukchir, the store manager at the Starbucks says that he was confused the first time Adams asked for a garbage bag.
Oukchir was wondering why he’s asking for a bag every day. He wanted to know what was going on.
Although he confused him with the request, Oukchir always gave him a fresh bag and soon came to realize what Adams needed it for.
He spotted him collecting trash outside the store-he told him to not worry about doing that to which Adams smiled and continued collecting.
He visits the Starbucks location most days of the week but sometimes, he’ll come twice a day, explains Oukchir.
He also adds that Adams cleans parks, roads, and side streets. And, it’s because of him that Oukchir is more conscious of garbage throughout the city.
He finds him a big inspiration and realizes that when we all do our part, the world can change.
Adams’ motto is precisely that. To see more people doing what he does.
An Inspiration to a lot of People
Jamie Bredbenner is Adams’s fitness trainer and he says he admires what he does.
Whether rain, sleet, hail or snow, Adams is picking up trash. Bredbenner is also doing it in his own neighborhood when he’s walking his dog.
Adams works as an executive in a software company. He says collecting trash isn’t just helping the planet, but is also a highly satisfying and rewarding experience.
Even though Adams’s customary cleaning might be unusual, working out while collecting trash is not a new thing.
Namely, a popular Swedish fitness craze includes collecting garbage or ‘plogging’ or a blend of jogging and ‘plocka upp’ or Swedish for picking up.
These groups have appeared in different parts of the world.