BAKERSFIELD, CA - Trash on the highways is a big problem in the City of Bakersfield, but a group of seniors is trying to tackle the problem head on.
Instead of grass and gravel, it's garbage that coats the side of our roadways.
"I mean it's just terrible, it's everywhere," said Tom Burch, of the Retirees Pickup Group. "There's just too much trash."
"I don't know if it's education or people just don't care and throw their trash out," said James Dorton of the City of Bakersfield's Solid Waste Division.
These retirees decided enough was enough and they're cleaning up.
"I decided I gotta get out and do something," said Tony Swan of the Retirees Pickup Group. "I mean everybody can sit home and complain about it, but somebody has got to do something."
A month ago, Tom Burch gathered a group together and for two hours each week, these volunteers clean on and off ramps on Highway 99.
"We all feel good about it," said Burch. "We wouldn't be here if we didn't. We could certainly sleep in I mean there's all kinds of stuff we could do."
Instead, they're out here collecting bags full of refuse. On Wednesday they picked up near California Avenue. CalTrans is in charge of highway clean-up, but now they have some free labor.
"I have a guaranteed income and it happens to be zero, but I'll never run out of a job because there's always going to be trash to pick up," said Burch.
They're not alone. City employee James Dorton helps supervise for safety.
"It keeps them alive. Gives them self worth, something to do something they're doing beyond their retirement," said Dorton.
On this day, there were only six people in the group, but they're hoping to grow.
"I would like to see a lot of other retirees that have time and that are looking for something to volunteer in this is a great way to make Bakersfield look better and do something useful," said Swan.
If you would like to help out you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.