A long reply to a comment made about the “Really short litter picking story”, posted August 17th.

This comment made me think, gave me a headache and as this weekend seems to be a turning point for “The Professional Litter Picker”…is it time to give it all up and just leave all the litter on the ground for others to pick up?

Comment made, (pleasantly I think!):

Have you never “lost” or had a valued item stolen? Had this been taken to a police station the item may have been able to be re-united to a rightful owner that may have had it stolen from them.
There is all so just the chance that through the police knowing about the item you found that it could be linked to a previous crime and help a distressed victim achieve justice or some comfort from you efforts to return the item.
-You would still have cleared the litter and furthered your cause, as well as earning a whole heap of Brownie points for not only yourself but the cause you promote. It would have also endorsed the lettering in on the vehicle “professional”.

My reply:

“David, thanks for your comment. In reply to it! Yes, I have had stuff stolen. It’s very annoying and can make you very angry. My question to you! Are you a litter picker? I ‘find’ a lot of things in my picking. The last thing of value I found was in Cherbourg, France. It was a gold bracelet and I found it on the pavement and expect it had only just been dropped. I took it to the pawnbrokers who told me it was worth 550 euros and would I like to sell it right now? Boy did I need the money, but I said no, took it down the police station and hoped that the owner came to claim it. I went back there a month ago, 6 months after I handed it in to see if anyone had. They hadn’t. After 12 months, if it hasn’t been claimed, I can have it. I can sell it for 550 euros, (depending on the price of gold at the time!). But could I do it? I doubt it very much. Someone might walk in to the station the day after…and it wouldn’t be there anymore.

I have picked up loads of rubbish, and I mean loads. I was paid 100 euros to clean up a beach in Crete, Greece 5 years ago and a mate gave me 50 pounds recently and I went and spent half a day clearing up a canal towpath. 25 years part time litter picking for £150.

So on Friday when I pulled into that lay bye and saw yet another pile of trash I said to myself, “How can I get paid for picking all this shit up”? I took the trash down the tip, found the album with the CD’s in it and thought wow, instant payment. I found it in a TIP, where rubbish is disposed of. Most tips now set aside a place to sell ‘slightly’ valuable goods to the passing public. They do not, to my knowledge put stuff aside to take down to the police station in case it was stolen. If they do, they should have taken the CD’s!

After I had received my £40, yes, I did then think, I wonder if it was stolen? But such was the synchronicity of events, I did not think of it at the time.

I know the guy I sold them too. I found the CD’s at Nuneaton tip in Warwickshire. I am not going down to the police station to see if anyone has had their “Dance DJ CD Collection” stolen, but by all means, please do publicize this story in an appropriate way to see if they are stolen goods. If we could genuinely return them to such a person that would be great. I can buy them back I am sure.

We live in a very dirty world. If it wasn’t for the thousands of volunteer litter pickers we fortunately have in this country, the state of it would be a lot worse-give us a break please!!!”


Comments welcome…


About theprofessionallitterpicker

Cleanin' up the World!
This entry was posted in Litter and Travel, out of book.. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A long reply to a comment made about the “Really short litter picking story”, posted August 17th.

  1. David Plimmer says:

    Hi Simon.. just a quick reply to your post and I address this specifically to David’s comments. Of course, I do not know how the message was intended, re taking the CD’s to the police station. What I do know is that over the thirty plus years that I have know you, you are one of the most honest, caring, compassionate Men I have ever met with a level of integrity that is above question.
    What ever you decide to do I believe you will continue to be an inspiration and good example to others where ever you go and what ever you do.. Love and blessings, dp

  2. Erica Rose says:

    I wonder if the person who left the comment thought that the CDs were in a lay-by with the rubbish, rather than at the tip? I think your response is very thoughtful. The way I read your original post was that ending up ‘in pocket’ for once was a bit of a blast, given that litter-picking can be a pretty thankless task. You really do it for love, don’t you? Which doesn’t stop it getting you down a bit sometimes (especially with the MASSIVE amount you’ve done!) So 40 quid is a nice surprise. I hope you have found a nice use for it.

  3. M-A says:

    I totally endorse all that DP has written….it is a great shame that your work and that of many others is so needed. A great shame that people who have the privileged to be on this planet treat it with such contempt…maybe they never really stop and think. Keep up your work Simon and maybe in time others will follow…M-A

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