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One-Man Cleanup Declutters Hwy 126

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Karen Richards
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Drivers may have noticed white trash bags with Halloween faces on Highway 126 west of Veneta lately. They’re one man’s effort to raise awareness of illegal dumping.

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Credit Karen Richards
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For five years, Raymond Block has run cleanup campaigns through his nonprofit, including clearing all of Oregon’s Highway 101. He says, “ODOT’s responsible to maintain and keep these roads debris free. Over time they have dropped it to the bottom priority, to the point to where they mostly mow the trash, they don’t clean it up.”

Block says Lane County has been cooperative and picked up the bags. He’s collected piles of cups and car parts, and nearly 200 masks on Highway 126, but says it’s rewarding to see the results. “That energizes me and pushes me down the road again," he says, "even though this would be day 29 I’ve worked my way from Florence, and I’ve been able to do a mile, sometimes two, a day.”

 

Block hopes to reach Eugene in the next 10 days. He says the faces on the bags aren’t a nod to Halloween, but a way to emotionally connect with people. 

 

More information is on Block's "Leaven No Trace" website, here

 

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Credit Karen Richards
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Block says he wants to educate people about how to clean up dump sites on public land. His website and YouTube channel have more details.

Karen Richards has been a KLCC reporter since the fall of 2012.
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