BY ANDREW HEISERMAN
KINGS – Two local Kings residents are walking to keep both their bodies and the roadways around town in good shape.
For the last four years, Lyle Hayes and Craig Stouffer have been walking between four and six miles each day while also collecting trash along the roadways. The idea began when Hayes retired from being a farmer/truck driver and decided to begin walking each day to help stay in shape.
When Stouffer retired from his job as a mailman, he also felt that he should be taking walks too.
Since then, the two have enjoyed each other’s company on their daily walks.
“We have good long talks as we walk and it is somebody to walk with. We also carry plastic bags and pick up the trash as we go,” said Stouffer.
The two have three set routes that they alternate so that the roads get cleaned up every three days. The routes include walking south of Kings on Kings Road to Bethel Road, walking west on Bethel Road to Center Road and Kings Road straight south for approximately five miles.
The amount of trash that is collected varies greatly depending if it is during the week or on a weekend, whether it is summertime when school is out or on just the amount of people that have driven on that roads recently, in general.
“Some days it can be barley a bag and other days he [Lyle] is carrying a bag and I am carrying two,” Stouffer explained.
Stouffer and Hayes complete their walk year-round through almost any weather conditions. The only times they do not go out walking is if it is raining or there is a lot of ice. The heat and cold weather isn’t something that bothers them.
After collecting the trash, Hayes brings it home to sort through and collect all of the cans to turn in. He then goes through the rest and takes all of the paper, plastic, and glass to a specific trash dump that recycles those materials. The remaining trash is then burned.
Both Stouffer and Hayes feel very good about helping keep their community clean, they just wish that more people would consider collecting their trash to throw away rather than throwing it out their windows.
“I wish other people would put those plastic bags in their car and throw their trash away when they get home. Everyone gets those plastic bags and it is pretty easy to just throw your trash in there rather than on the side of the highway,” added Stouffer.