Man picks up trash every day to clean the town

Local News

MONTICELLO, Ill. (WCIA) —  Ron Thomas noticed an ongoing problem of trash lining the roads in town, so he decided to go out of his way every day and do something about it. 

It started out as just daily walks to get excercise, but the garbage he saw along the way bothered him. 
Thomas takes pride in his town and, since he has spare time, he figured why not do something to make it better. 

Thomas says “We were seeing trash everywhere. So I just said I’m going to see what I can do about it.” He isn’t a garbage man, but everyday he picks up trash. He says, “It’ll always be there because I can see if I clean up one day, we’ll drive around and I’ll see there’s something over there and over there.” 

He gets up early at 6:45 am. He walks two miles on different roads in Monticello, picking up any piece of litter he can find. He’s found all sorts of things like plastic bottles, cds, and even a broken boomerang.

Thomas says, “People are just getting more lax. I’ll see trash deposited maybe just a foot away from a trash can.” 

Every time he goes out, he fills about three grocery bags. On some days he has help. His wife, Carolyn, was the one who inspired ron to start cleaning up the town. She says, “People just don’t think of putting trash where it should be instead of just on the ground. We drive through the streets and we see all that, so why leave it sitting there?”

Both of them say it can get frustrating seeing litter day after day. Even though it’s a never ending job, Thomas won’t quit. He says, “I intend to stay with it and I think I will. I hope when they see me doing this, they think maybe we should do this too.” 

Thomas doesn’t get paid for all the hours he spends cleaning up. He’s been doing this for almost four months. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.