Community gathers to collect trash

11 members of the Castaic community joined Mike Richter to help clean litter alongside The Old Road Sunday morning. Courtesy of Mike Richter.

Over a dozen 30-gallon trash bags were filled with litter from The Old Road, Sunday morning by the One Piece at a Time Project, or OPAATP. 

“OPAATP is simply a grassroots movement that wants to remove some of the litter in the community and environment,” said Mike Richter, OPAATP Castaic chapter founder.  

A group of about 12, including Richter, cleaned alongside The Old Road for three hours, to help reduce litter in the community. 

18, 30-gallon trash bags were filled with trash from Sunday’s clean up. Courtesy of Mike Richter.

“At Sunday’s clean up, I only knew three people prior,” said Richter. “Meeting new people is awesome, especially since they are taking time out of their day to do some community service.” 

Alongside the road, there are scattered plastic water bottles, aluminum cans and more. Additionally, there were plastic pieces broken up over time, that initiate a plastic cloud when touched. These clouds of plastic particles are what worry Richter the most, he says. 

“I don’t like driving through a dumpter’s worth of litter just to get home,” said Richter. “I’m more concerned about the mess we are going to leave behind for the younger generation.” 

Along with Richter and other members of the community, some Boy Scouts and Scout leaders from Troop 888, participated in the clean up.

“This is a relatively new partnership between the troop and the OPAATP,” said Mary Bates, committee chair with Troop 888. “We want to connect our Boy Scouts with the community and do things in the community to help it.” 

Members of the community came together to clean alongside The Old Road Sunday morning. Courtesy of Mike Richter.

Currently Troop 888 are recruiting new Scouts to be added to their troop in the new year, according to Bates. 

 Each clean up, the community helps chip at Richter’s goal of cleaning The Old Road in Castaic. OPAATP announces their clean ups through their Facebook group and other community pages. 

“I’ve been picking up trash before I even had a Facebook account,” said Richter. “I noticed all the trash while geocaching in 2013.”

Since then, Richter has gone out into the community to collect trash and create a community with less litter. What once started as a personal project for Richter, has become one that Richter hopes to see expand in the community. 

To learn about the next OPAATP clean up, visit their group page on Facebook at

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