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Hull Man Raises $100,000 Recycling Bottles And Cans

HULL (CBS) - It's taken tons of nickels but an 86-year-old South Shore man is about to reach a hefty milestone for bottle recycling: $100,000.

"It keeps me busy, something to do," said Joe Elisii.

Indeed, Elisii has been the Hull Lions Club "lone ranger of recycling" for 13 years after discovering no one else wanted the job.

"So I said I'll do the whole thing all by myself," he said.

Joe Elisii
Joe Elisii (WBZ-TV)

That's when this retired contractor helped build three donation boxes which he visits and empties into his pickup truck almost daily for the conversion to cash for charity.

"Once we started doing this I got hooked on it and here I am," he said.

He's now just $88 shy of hitting $100,000, a lofty figure that has suddenly cast Joe into the reluctant spotlight.

"I don't want any attention, I don't care, this is what I wanna do," he said.

Joe's effort may have flown under the radar a bit, but not anymore. In fact, on Thursday, the town of Hull will dedicate a bench in his honor on Point Allerton.

Joe Elisii
Joe Elisii (WBZ-TV)

Joe says he's going to stick with bottles and cans.

"I was a little fed up that nobody wants to take it over, so I said to hell with it, I'll just keep it going," he said.

And when he tops $100,000 later this week, he'd prefer limited fanfare.

"I'm not looking for any pats on the back," he said.

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