HARRISON TWP. — When Joe Logan was in his early fifties, his doctor told him to quit running or Joe might very will die.
Joe decided he would slow down his pace a bit to more of a brisk walk. Never did he imagine, that would wind up creating an obsession he is quite proud of.
“I can’t walk without picking up trash. I mean, I get excited when I see a piece of trash up there,” he laughed as he told News Center 7′s James Brown.
And that’s what he’s been up to the last 25 to 30 years.
In Joe’s neighborhood in Harrison Township, he is “Making a Difference.”
“It stands out like a sore thumb,” he said.
He’s talking about all the trash people toss out along the road. Joe has lived just off Philadelphia Drive more than 40-years.
James asked him, “what do you like about picking up other peoples’ trash?”
“Well, I never thought about that. I get mad these people don’t know better,” Joe said.
Every morning he sets out with the goal of picking up a thousand pieces of trash but, “I only got 950 yesterday.”
Joe has found guns, shell casings, counterfeit money and, “sometimes its exciting. I found a wallet last year.” It had 300-dollars inside and he tracked down the owner and returned it.
Joe had to give up his running shoes because three of his family members had heart attacks while jogging, and all three died.
“Ya, I didn’t want to go that way,” as he chuckled a bit sharing that part of his life story. But, he admitted that was all for the best. He said he running got in the way of him being able to see the little pieces of trash.
While following Joe pick up everything from cups, paper and fast food boxes, the more trash he saw, the faster he seemed to move.
“It stands out like a sore thumb,” he said as he used his three foot long, trash pick up stick. “There is anticipation with this job.”
It was like Joe’s head was always on a swivel, back and forth searching for the next big find.
“Oh you know what, I’ve gotta stop here. I left it here last night,” he said — He was talking about the trash he found and put under a rock so it would not blow away the night before.
In early August, Leon Walker reached out to News Center 7 about Joe.
“There are times when you need to put something positive on the news,” Walker said.
The two had never met, but for years Leon had seen Joe “looking for litter.”
“You don’t find that everyday someone out actually doing stuff like this,” Walker said.
Joe said he never thought anybody really recognized or appreciated his obsession. And he never expected News Center 7 to pay so much attention to him for “Making a Difference” in our community. And in a sort of odd way, Joe is grateful for the people who care so little about how their community looks.
“If they weren’t throwing out trash, I wouldn’t have anything to do. I’d have to stay home,” Joe said.
As Leon and James finished up their conversation, Leon said it best, “… no doubt about it , no doubt about it. We need more Joe’s.”
Do you have a “Joe” in your community “Making a Difference” in some unique way? James would love to hear from you. Send him a message on Facebook or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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