What type of trash are Pick’n Run solutions good for?

When explaining the Pick’n Run concept, one of the first comments we get is that there is too much trash to pick up.  When they say this, they are envisioning what you see in the picture below, which they think they have to pick up.

However, we are not focusing on finding a solution to pick up large piles of trash that you see in the picture above. There are other companies and solutions that will be able to focus on doing that.  Rather, we are initially focusing on helping runners pick up the odd trash pieces that you see on your runs, as you see in the picture below (which is trash we have picked up on one of our runs). The plastic cup. The beer bottle.

In addition, we aren’t focusing on the “nasty” trash that is gooey and yucky.  For the most part, the cups, the bottles, the candy wrappers are dry (we are developing gloves that people can use to pick up the trash, and put it in a Pick’n run backpack).


Yosemite Half Marathon, used the backpack – prototype 1

A month ago, my daughter (Naya), my sister (Betsy), and I ran the Yosemite Half Marathon.  It was the 1st half-marathon for my daughter (she did wonderfully), and the 4th half-marathon for my sister, and my 7th half-marathon.  My sister and I had run the Yosemite Half Marathon last year (when it was in October), and we wanted to run it again.

This time, I ran a race for the first time with one of the Pick’n Run backpack prototypes….the first prototype.  I have used the prototype on shorter, practice runs, but never in a race and not at the half marathon distance (13.1 miles).

I was able to pick up trash during the race, put it in the backpack, and then easily empty the trash at various trash locations, which tended to be at various mile markers.  See pictures below of the race, and the backpack usage.


In Minnesota: Taking a tour, and picking up trash

Here is an example of combining a tour of an area with picking up trash.  It takes place in St. Paul, Minnesota:

To make this happen, individuals from 3 different organizations worked together:

The individuals to picked up litter along two streets:

  • Syndicate street
  • Griggs streets

While picking up trash along these two streets, the individuals learn about the future of a Griggs Street park via an hour long tour.  The park will be on 5 acres that the Trust for Public Land recently purchased in the city of St. Paul. The property is near the Skyline Tower housing development, which is home to 500 or more families.


Earth Week begins tomorrow, Monday, April 17th — Leave No Trace

Tomorrow, Monday, April 17th, starts Earth Week. To start the week off on a positive note, here is an article about the Boulder-based, member-driven organization, Leave No Trace:

The organization is looking to motivate people to pick up trash in a public open space this week, and when doing so, photograph themselves with the piece of trash, tag @LeaveNoTrace on Twitter and/or Instagram and use the hashtag #LeaveNoTrash.

Article: How Entrepreneurs Can Turn Trash Into (Revenue) Profit (Literally)

Trash in the ocean is an interesting problem. 8 million metric tons of plastic currently enter the oceans annually.  Based upon that rate, one estimate is that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.

Here is an interesting article talking about that, and a link to the company that is making and selling $149 sunglasses out of recovered high-density-polyethylene (HDPE) ocean plastics:

Austin-based company, Dell is mentioned as well: “Dell recently announced that it’s using recycled plastics collected from waterways and beaches for use in the new packaging tray for its Dell XPS 13 2-in-1.”

Note: The author of this article Elizabeth Gore highlights that 500m plastic straws are a culprit to the plastic generation.