“In some ways I’m sorry I started, but then I’m thinking, ‘Just stop. Could you live with it?’” The answer, Krieger said, is always no.
One of Krieger’s neighbors, Lisa Taylor, also collects garbage. She noticed Krieger out one day and told him, “You’re not alone,” waving her trash grabber as proof. Taylor said Krieger goes out “religiously,” even on the hottest of summer days.
At first, Krieger’s wife and two children were skeptical of his new pastime. After a few months they began to notice the positive impact Krieger had on the neighborhood. Now his wife jokingly calls him “the garbage man.” When his son sees the nearby roundabout is trash-free, he knows his father has been there.
Krieger’s daughter still thinks he should get paid for his work. So far his only reward has been a dollar he found and the occasional “thank you” shouted from a car window.
If he spots trash poking through the grass, Krieger will dart across the street to grab it. But mostly he sticks to beautifying the 2 miles around his home in the hopes that, one day, the trash will stop piling up.
“This is an extension of my home. This is almost like my lawn,” Krieger said, gesturing to the now garbage-free stretch of road before him. “It only takes a few seconds to pick (litter) up, and if everybody thought like that, it would be clean.”