You can see a lot driving the roads of Logan County. Beautiful scenery in south Logan, fields stretching as fare as the eye can see, a pristine lake in the northern portion of the county, and rich farm land throughout. What you may not be used to seeing is a trash can out in the middle of nowhere, strapped on a metal pole, with a sign attached that used to read “trash,” only now the sun and rain has faded it. But you still can’t mistaken what it is there for.
This isn’t your normal trash container, not the ones that sit at the end of a driveway waiting to be picked up by a waste service. This is one that was intentionally put there by someone who wanted to make a difference, while providing a place for litter to go instead of the ditch. And it seems to be working.
This trash can was placed in the out-skirts of Auburn five years ago by Elsie Carpenter, who admits she was getting tired of picking up cans on the side of the road in her rural neighborhood, so she decide to do something about it.
“I figured people obviously needed a place to throw away their garbage, considering what was on the sides of the road. So why not give them one,” said Carpenter.
It has really worked well, she said, adding people seem to get the idea since it stays full most of the time. Now, there have been some, who know she collects cans for the blood drive she is very involved in, put in bags of cans for her.
It’s not uncommon to find Carpenter still picking up what is left behind despite her idea. On two different occasions, Carpenter found remains of a meth lab. But as for cans, well there are not that many left to pick up. Not since she put out the can.
“I called the sheriff’s department twice when I found the meth labs,” said Carpenter. “My son gets after me all the time and tells me I don’t need to touch anything I find like that.”
If you are ever in the area of Carter Road in Auburn and find you need a place to empty those fast food wrappers or soda cans, just wait a few miles until you see the blue can by the bridge. It’s waiting for you.
To contact Chris Cooper, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 270-726-8394.