For years I have seen the names of different companies who have generously sponsored stretches of America’s highways who have committed time and money to keeping them clean. As a relatively new employee at Cadet, it was really cool to see our company’s name on a two mile stretch of Northbound I-205 in our hometown of Vancouver WA and I jumped at the chance to volunteer for Cadet cleanup day.
Quite honestly it’s not a glamorous task. When I actually got out there I was a struck by the alarming amount of trash on the side of the highway. I don’t think I had ever really noticed before while going 60 MPH. But after spending 4 hours out there, I have a new awareness of how big a problem this really is on our highways.
Despite the nature of the job itself, it was quite a fun and fulfilling day. Every couple minutes we would get honks and waves from the cars passing by which was great encouragement for what we were doing. As is tradition with Cadet cleanup day, we had a scavenger hunt, which, not to brag, but of course I won. You name it, we found it. There were a lot of the obvious items like tires, paper, cigarette boxes, bottles and cans. And then there were the more unusual items DVDs, wallets (one with an ID), bubble wrap, a sympathy greeting card, a car headlight (not just a headlight bulb, the full headlight) and various clothing items, including the strangest find of the day, underpants.
We had so much fun making up stories about how these items might have gotten there and it was great getting to know each other outside of the office. In the end our 8 person crew filled 3-4 bags per person. And for the low, low price of just a Saturday morning, it was well worth it to be able to make a difference for our community.