Bucks County Herald

One man's trash is another's daily exercise

Perkasie walker has logged 500 miles this year


While municipal clean up days and adopt-a-road programs continue to be popular contributors to helping keep roadsides free of trash, a Perkasie man, who started out seeking regular exercise for medical reasons, has evolved his own roadside trash collection program.

“As a diabetic, I have a special need for exercise, so I started taking long walks at lunchtime at my then workplace in Newtown,” recalled Chuck Botson. “That was around 2000, and after I had progressed for about a year, it occurred to me one day, why not pick up trash while I’m at it? So I started doing it, using supermarket plastic bags, and tieing them off and throwing them in garbage cans and dumpsters, although sometimes there were complaints from the owners when I did that.”

“I continued doing it when my workplace moved to Richland Township in 2013, and soon after that changed from lunch hours to after hours, although that meant limitations during the months when it got dark early, so I added weekends,” he continued, “although sometimes I could arrange to leave work early enough by coming in earlier.”

Botson said he then branched out in Bucks County, as far north as Quakertown and as far east as Fountainville, and then across the county line into Montgomery Township, while adding state roads to local roads. He also graduated from supermarket bags to 13-gallon bags, and found an interim solution to the stay-away-from-my-dumpster problem.

“I have a neighbor who used to work for PennDOT in dispatch, and she still knew a lot of people there,” he said. “She could alert them to a bag drop from me at a time when they were going to be doing their own cleanup patrols, and not have to make a special trip.”

Botson typically does 4-6 miles in a couple of hours, mostly on the weekends now, and mostly May-September, although he recalls doing it on a New Years Day when it was 12 degrees outside.

He tracked a total of 258 hours last year, covering 465 miles, and using 854 bags, while this year, he has already reached 300 hours, 500 miles, and 825 bags. He once did a social media post as the Unabagger, and has found another solution to the bag deposit problem.

“Dan Gilbert, in the Perkasie Borough public works department, said I could drop them there,” he said. “There has been a great sense of community about this, as I’ve also talked with lots of people along the way.”

“This is God’s earth, and I want to keep it clean. After all that’s been given me, I’m giving back, and getting exercise, and meeting people.

“Pretty cool.”


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