I have a serious impulse control problem when it comes to trash. If I see a stray wrap or deflated birthday balloon while out walking, I can’t not pick it up if I have the option to. I’ll pick up as much as I can fit in my backpack and more often then not, I’ll bring a plastic bag just for trash collecting when out walking. While out riding my mountain or road bike, I stop along the way to stuff empty Gu packets and crushed water bottles in my jersey pockets or hydration pack. It may not seem like a lot but every little bit counts when it comes to keepin’ mama Earth healthy! Sometimes though, there’s more garbage than I can carry in a backpack or the trash is located in a remote location, like on a trail. In comes my FreeRad Leap converted mountain bike!
This rig can really haul some junk! Recently a prescribed burn tore through a section of one of my favorite local national forest single tracks. With the ground cover gone, the few scattered trash piles were much easier to see. I wanted to take advantage of the increased visibility while I could so I loaded up my bike with WheelSkirts, a SlingSet, trash bags and thick gloves. I took my FreeRad Leap on the trail and my 11 year old kiddo took her Giant Boulder.
We rode for a few miles on the trail – hootin’ and hollerin’ through the flowy curves and jumps – to the forest road trail crossing where I recalled seeing a pile o’ junk.
All in all, we worked for about 10 minutes picking up and hauled out 4 trash bags full of beer and soda bottles, a chair frame, a grill lid, a mop bucket and a kitchen drying rack.
Want to use your cargo bike to help Captain Planet? Check out my recommendations for trash hauling gear (bags, gloves, etc.) and a haul I did using my Bosch powered EdgeRunner, where I removed two lawn chairs and some old luggage from a remote trail. Don’t forget how adding a trailer can up your garbage hauling game – check out all the junk that was hauled out using EdgeRunners during the 2018 Canal Clean Sweep!
A quick note about hauling trash out of federal lands: If the trash you intend to remove does not look recent, be sure to call your local U.S. Forest Service office to get their go-ahead to haul it out. This specific forest where I was actually has historic trash sites from early 20th century from local turpentine camps. Sometimes trash at these sites can be easily mistaken as recent garbage but upon closer inspection – i.e. evidence of super old bottles – it’s clear they are not recent.