Natalie Sollock (above) and Charley Kausen of Pacific Beach started picking up trash in the community.
Charley Kausen and Natalie Sollock of Pacific Beach are voluntarily picking up trash in the community and urging others to follow suit by providing an incentive to “Don’t Trash PB.”
For a $15 Venmo mobile pay service “loan,” they’ll provide a branded bucket and hand-controlled extension trash “grabber” for others committing to doing their own community clean-up.
“We send the person $5 back each time they send us a picture of their bucket full of garbage via email or post and tag us on Instagram,” Kausen and Sollock said in an email. “If they fill the bucket three times – the bucket, and grabber, are theirs forever. If at any time they don't want to participate, they can return the bucket and grabber and get any remaining deposit back in full.”
They said the Venmo deposit is merely a way to ensure people actually use both clean-up tools provided, and not just let them sit in their garages.
Discussing the origin of their clean-up project named “Don’t Trash PB,” Sollock said, “Charley was obsessive picking up trash every day on our walk to the beach, picking it up with his hands. Then we wised up and picked up a bucket and grabber.”
Soon, the pair were out there showing and doing by personal example. It got attention, and results.
“People started shouting at us out of their (car) windows, ‘Hey, what are you guys doing?’” said Kausen, adding others expressed interest in joining once told.
“It finally dawned on us that all others needed to get involved was their own bucket and grabber,” said Sollock, adding that, by buying in bulk, they were able to bring the cost for the two pick-up tools down to about $10. “We then flocked to Instagram to help spread the word about it,” she added.
The pair said a dozen or more people have taken them up on their bucket-and-grabber offer. And the word is spreading.
“We don’t really have a mission statement,” said Sollock. “The whole idea was just to get people actively cleaning up in their own neighborhoods. We just wanted to provide the tools for them to do that.”
To get a bucket and grabber, people can reach out to Kausen and Sollock on Instagram @donttrashpb, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.