Along with the trash (mostly paper and plastic), we always find a few treasures, tidbits and oddities.

Below are samples from the most recent litter pickups.

I have been cataloguing these finds since 2008. If you want to see even MORE of them, click here for another page of photos.

Want to see what's in a bag of trash? What's in the bags of recyclables?

October 2020

Small stuffed toy (before)   Small stuffed toy (after washing)   Small coin purse?
What I thought was a cube.....   ... had a lid   An unopened roll of mounting tape
A face mask (washed and donated)   Play money (darn!)   Found: $5 bill, $1 bill, coins
An half-full can of Rustoleum   By the time we pulled 50 yards of this twine off the roadway, it made a ball that filled our bag a third of the way!   A vice and a length of heavy chain with hooks on each end.
A doll head (Elvis Presley?). We have a collection of small doll heads, all of which we found on the freeway, on skewers, in our front garden.   An olive tree loaded with black olives!   Hubba-hubba! A pill to increase a man's time, size, and stamina. But be careful!

September 2020

Field before   The same field after cleaning   A brown bandana

The curve of the off-ramp. What you can't see is all the litter stuck in and under the bushes!

  The same curve after cleaning   A bright pink bra (with the tag!)


August 2020

A large fleece blanket. We will wash it and donate it   An American flag scarf, possible one designed to be a COVID-19 mask.   A length of decorative ribbon.
Two golf balls   A triangular hazard warning device.   A keyboard

July 2020

Sabie and I did sessions in July which netted these items. We were carefully joined by two volunteers with their own gear, each driving his own car. It really made a difference how much we could clean!
An odd assortment of metal that we think probably created an ornamental border for a garden.   Nice pink jacket, too small for either of us, so we will donate it.   A pretty worn, but serviceable pair of tennis shoes. We wll donate them.
A dollar bill, just waiting for someone to come along and claim it   A basket for a local store (we returned it) and two buckets (we kept them).   CO2 cartridges - lots of them. There more, but we'd put a dozen or so in the trash bag before we realized how many there would be -- and that we'd find the box they came in.
We found a bunch of those Space Saver bags! A package of four sells for $33. Made coming out to pick up trash a pretty good deal!    
Before and After        

Still keeping track of the gloves and masks, adding the three weeks we picked up litter in July. Plastic bags are much more prevalent, of course, because grocery stores in particular could not allow shoppers to use their own bags, requiring single-use plastic bags. So plastic bags are back and we're littering with gloves and masks.

May-June 2020
Sabine and I were allowed to go out alone and work together because we are a family unit. We cleaned one portion of our section of 280
one day each week for seven weeks, four times in May and three times in June.   The new litter? Gloves and masks!

Three photos of gloves we picked over the course of the seven weeks . We picked up a total of 274 gloves during our six of our seven trips to pick up litter.
Some photos of the masks we picked up.... a total of 57 over the course of seven weeks. Of course I keep track of these things! We didn't count them the first week because we were not yet aware of the problem or how many we would find; I started counting the second time we went out.

Three of the four jackets we found during our May/June pickups. All were in remarkably good shapes, so we donated them.  


We also found a nice set of goggles and a scarf that appears to advertise a restaurant/bar in Bolivia!


March and April 2020 - No pickups  

February 2020

A child's basketball jersey  

Another jersey. It still had the Marshall's tag on it, and was missing the two top buttons -- which may be why it was discarded. Both jersey were washed and donated.

An orange. We found a tangerine too.   The remains of a plaster skull.   A Peruvian flag. It was pretty grimy, but most of the dirt came out in the wash. We donated it.

Checks belonging to Prepared Staffing, LLC. We contacted the owner who explained that his car had been broken into and his company's checkbook stolen. He was glad at least these checks won't be coming back to haunt him. He wrote down the numbers and we shreded the checks.  

We have no idea what these are. They are plastic and they have no markings on them that we could see.

ADDED 2/1720: Rene P., an eagle-eyed reader of our trash reports knew exactly what these are: agility training cones, often used by soccer coaches to set up drills on the field. Thanks, Rene!

  Our crew with the 12 bags we filled at The Alameda exit on Highway 880 NB

January 2020

A bicycle seat.   Spray cans of chemicals used in automobile detailing.     A metal pot. It's too damaged to be used for cooking, but I can find a use for it in my garden.
A tiny child's sandal - only one.   A tiny plastic figure. It's a small miracle anyone spotted this, because it's about the size of dollar coin.   Two hats. After some clean-up, we will donate them.

Yes, it's rusty, but it still works, so it will be cleaned up and either used or donated.   A box of tools. They were not in the box to start with. They were scattered all over the road at the site of a crash. Somebody's tool chest split opened and spilled its contents ( probably worth over $100), and nobody bothered to pick them up after clearing the crash.   A small portion of the Botts Dots we found. The orange one is pretty rare. I have dozens of these if anyone wants them for an art project!


A model helicopter! It's very delicate, so it's a amazing that it's not damaged. How in the world did it wind up on the side of the freeway?

  A metal dish, pretty disgusting when we found it, but...   ... it cleaned up nicely. We may use for a pet dish.


I have been cataloguing these finds since 2008. If you want to see even MORE of them....

Photos from 2019
Photos from 2018
Photos from 2017
Photos from 2016
Photos from 2015
Photos from 2014
Photos from 2013
Photos from 2008-2012

For even MORE photos click here