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After 589 days of picking up trash, this California student’s local park is now free of litter

It didn’t matter if it was raining, foggy, or the temperature topped 100 degrees — through all kinds of weather, Edgar McGregor was out in Eaton Canyon, picking up litter that was strewn across one of Los Angeles County’s most popular trails.

McGregor, a 20-year-old student and climate activist, decided in May 2019 that he would regularly visit the park to pick up trash, and wouldn’t stop until it was clean. On Friday, he announced on Twitter that after 589 days, he reached his goal and was able to “say with confidence” that the trail is now “free of municipal waste.”

He would fill at least two buckets worth of trash every day, picking up wrappers, cans, bottles, and pieces of paper from the trail, waterfall areas, and storm drains. McGregor told ABC 7 Los Angeles he started his project because “I knew it needed to be done. I knew no one was doing it, so that was that.”

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Along the way, McGregor figured out ways to be more efficient about picking up the trash and also learned about local ecology. He hopes his work inspires others to take care of their local parks, and he’s already planning on picking a spot to keep clean in San Jose, where he will attend college to study meteorology.