A Cleanup at Walmart

Sanju M.

We’ve all been to Walmart, more specifically, I’ve been to that one Walmart that my school is closest to; the one right next to the busiest road I’ve seen in Mobile. I’m not a local, and the only places I’ve been to in Mobile is downtown and the strip of Government Street that has all the fast food, so that might be the reason. Last weekend, I went to that same Walmart, not just to pick up some frozen meals for the days I sleep through cafeteria meals, but to pick up the tons and tons of trash that piles up in the ditch right behind the building.

Bright and early, 9 AM, on a Saturday morning, me and a couple of other members of the Greenpeace club joined the Mobile Bay keeper in their MLK Day of Service cleanups. One of the 9 cleanup locations – a small plot of land behind Walmart - that most people might not think too deeply of when dropping a can or two of a messed up soda can, is actually home to a small stream that leads right into the Mobile Bay, making it an extremely dangerous area for an accumulation of plastics and other non-degradable materials.

We found loads of unopened soda bottles that couldn’t be recycled, tires, candy wrappers, cardboard, clothes, towels, shoes, glass bottles, shoes, and many more that I cannot recall right now. In essence, that small plot of land was loaded with things that shouldn’t have been there. Although, we and the other volunteers worked in the rain to clean-up as much as we can, we still weren’t able to reach the depths of the ditch.

It was a disheartening image to see so much trash – it’s something that could be easily missed if you were driving by it, but almost like a mountain when you’re standing in front of it. But it was kind of beautiful seeing a group of humans who just met holding trash bags out for each other, working to make our Walmart, our city, and our Bay just a little cleaner.