When driving down Lopez roads, it is common to see a bearded man in a baseball hat alongside the road with a bag in hand picking up trash. If one didn’t know him or his story, he might just seem like a curiosity— not the incredible Zero Waste Hero that he is.
That man is Mike Moore, and he has been performing this amazing community service of keeping our roadsides clean for many decades. He is receiving the first “Golden Grabbers” Zero Waste Hero Award on Saturday, April 24 at 10 a.m. at the registration for the Great Islands Clean Up. Moore tells the story like this:
“I have always been a hiker and when I came to Lopez I enjoyed walking Lopez Hill, Watmough and the Iceberg trails. Later I became a bus driver for the Lopez School and I began to notice the amount of trash on the roads, even the back roads where the students lived. So instead of hiking the trails I started walking the Island roads and picking up what I found. This was back in the days before aluminum, when you could find rusted beer cans made of metal, and there were even trash piles in the salal left there in pre-Dump days. Today much of the ancient trash is gone but you can always find more so (carefully) join us on the Great Islands Clean Up to leave a cleaner Island for the school kids to enjoy.”
Mike Moore has recently turned 80, and Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District and the Lopez Trails Network have come together to honor him with a Lifetime Achievement Award, the Golden Grabbers Zero Waste Hero Award. “Grabbers” are a long pole with a grabber at the end used for litter collection, so it was a fitting gift that is also utilitarian.
Moore has been part of the Great Islands Clean Up Leadership team since 2015, empowering all Lopezians to get in on the fun of keeping our roads and beaches clean and tidy. This year, at the Spring Great Islands Clean Up scheduled for Saturday, April 24, Mike will be presented with the first-ever Golden Grabber Award at 10 a.m. in the lot behind Public Works, just next to LSWDD aka the Dump. Local filmmaker Ken Kortge made a short three-minute video highlighting Moore and this award, which can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCdvOf9kpiQ.
Due to Covid considerations, this year’s registration from 9- 10 a.m. will be a drive-through event, but folks are encouraged to sign the large thank you poster as they come through, which will also be presented to Mike. In addition, now when you see a bearded man collecting trash along the side of Lopez roads, you can smile and wave in thanks for his many years of work! Mike is happy to accept this gift in the hopes that his actions will continue to inspire Lopezians to be good stewards of our lands and seas, with each of us doing our part to make our island, and the world a cleaner place.