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LAD Has Picked Up Over 7,000 Bin Bags Of Litter And Wants To Do It Full Time

Amelia Ward

| Last updated 

LAD Has Picked Up Over 7,000 Bin Bags Of Litter And Wants To Do It Full Time

One LAD wants to 'change the world' by becoming a full time litter picker - and he's well on his way, having already picked up at least 7,400 bags.


Daniel Toben, 32, has been on a mission to clean up the world, working his way around neighbourhoods of North Carolina to pick up rubbish left behind by others.

But after leaving his second job, he has decided he wants to make it his full-time job and travel the country, spreading the word and picking up rubbish.

He has had almost $3,000 (£2,200) donated to him by grateful social media followers - but Daniel has more he wants to achieve.

Credit: Daniel Toben
Credit: Daniel Toben

Speaking to LADbible, Daniel says: "I realised I could make a huge impact, and I learned that it was pretty fun too. I got hooked when everywhere I turned on my college campus presented a new place to clean up.

"Now, I go searching for the most neglected areas, and I invite friends to come along. When I'm lucky they ask me to come along first.

"I now treat it like a job. My friends and I have cleaned up over 400 locations. We keep safe by wearing durable rubber coated gloves, and we try to help each other. I believe that I can change the world by doing this."

Credit: Daniel Toben
Credit: Daniel Toben

Not only does Daniel clean up nature spots, but he also visits urban areas to clear up after people.

He says: "A month or two ago I cleaned up a very dangerous neighbourhood... I just brought the truck, and I asked permission very politely to be there.

"A couple of neighbours and I cleaned up hundreds of syringes and tons of trash. It was the sketchiest place I've ever been for this."

Aside from things like plastic bottles and containers, he also finds things like chemicals - but it gets weirder.

Speaking about the stranger things he's found, Daniel lists: "Wallets, IDs, passports, carbon fibre bikes, safes, DJ equipment, phones, laptops, tablets, AirPods and more."

Credit: Daniel Toben
Credit: Daniel Toben

He continues: "A gun, knives, drugs, bongs, pornography, sleeping people, switch blades, bones (of animals).

"I've also found some awesome friendships!

"I've had a clean-up where people were speaking, like, four different languages! I've had people join in. People have brought me wine, snacks, money, invited me to lunch, and more."

It's brought him together with people in the most unexpected ways.

Credit: Daniel Toben
Credit: Daniel Toben

"One awesome clean-up was on New Year's last year," he explains.

"Different people from different cultural backgrounds joined me, including some drunks from behind the corner store, and we all listened to merengue music and cleaned up a neighbourhood.

"The United States has some cleaning up to do, and I think this is a way to metaphorically and literally begin that process. It builds community in the best sense."

Daniel has got more work to do, saying that to fill his four days off in a row each week he will travel and do clean-ups around the US. He adds that he'll 'follow it' wherever it takes him.

Credit: Daniel Toben
Credit: Daniel Toben

He says: "I have mapped places in other states to clean. I have talked to people on social media who say I should visit. I have new means for recording video, and I have nothing holding me back.

"People recently even donated like $2,800 (£2,000) to me after a TikTok video. There was a comment on the video saying something like we should give him money - and, like, 30,000 people liked that comment."

And how does Daniel think we can all help? You guessed it: "This whole thing can be solved by people putting their trash in the proper bin."

Credit: Daniel Toben
Credit: Daniel Toben

If people don't start to look after their environment, Daniel, an engineering graduate, warns of many problems.

He adds: "Littered aluminium cans can end up in hay bales and eaten by cows; cutting their mouths and more. Littered food brings wildlife to roadsides where they can get hit.

"Nano plastics destroy crops and build up in the human body. Littered neighbourhoods send an approval message for crime and more littering. Trash lowers home values. It also carries disease.

"People can get stuck on trash mentally. Driving to work people can have guilt for not helping out and cleaning it up. Litter falling off cars can cause accidents."

Credit: Daniel Toben
Credit: Daniel Toben

Of course, it's not always plain sailing. Daniel says he always listens to music while cleaning, but says: "If all this sounds fun and awesome, I have cleaned up diapers, stepped in rotting food, been rained on while I picked up other people's smelly trash, been told I can't recycle after I meticulously separated essentially someone else's garbage, had trash thrown out the window at me... there's been a lot!

"It has been an utter joy, though."

You can follow Daniel on Instagram and find out more about his venture The Earth Stewards here.

Featured Image Credit: Daniel Toben

Topics: Daily Ladness, US News

Amelia Ward
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