Man spends hundreds of days cleaning up trash along his favorite Los Angeles trail

Man spends 589 days picking up trash in park
Man spends 589 days picking up trash in park 01:33

Last Updated Apr 21, 2021 7:09 PM EDT

CBS News continues its series "Eye on Earth: Our Planet in Peril," a week of special coverage on our changing planet, leading up to Earth Day on Thursday, April 22. CBS News polling found Americans are concerned about climate change and most want it immediately addressed. 


Edgar McGregor set out to clean up a popular hiking trail in Southern California, documenting his good deed on social media. He thought it would only take a few sunny days to clean up Eaton Canyon. He couldn't have been more wrong. 

"I wanted to clean up as much trash as I could find," he said. 

Through sun, snow and high winds, he estimates he picked up about 12,000 to 15,000 pounds of trash since May 2019. It was so much trash that, at times, his bucket wasn't enough. 

"I filled an entire dumpster of trash over the last three hours," McGregor said. 

As his haul got bigger, so did his reach. Those who were inspired by him grabbed their own buckets. 

"I can inspire people around the world in Australia and Norway and India, wherever, to clean up their parks," he said. 

McGregor doesn't get paid to pick up after litterbugs, though he did find $5 one time. 

After 589 consecutive days picking up trash, he announced the park was finally clean of municipal waste on March 5. He said he checked the main trail, waterfalls and storm drains. 

"For the first time in 589 days, I can say with confidence that my park, Eaton Canyon, one of Los Angeles' most popular hiking trails, if not the most popular hiking trail, is completely free of municipal waste," he said in a video he shared on Twitter. 

"The park is finally clean," he added in the video viewed more than 1 million times. "I've done it, guys." 

  • Jonathan Vigliotti On Twitter»

    Jonathan Vigliotti is a CBS News foreign correspondent based in London.