GR8 Inspiration: Man on a mission to clean Lutz road

LUTZ, Fla. (WFLA) — You see it all the time – people flicking cigarettes out the car window — trashed tossed along the side of the road. But what can we do about it?

A Lutz man believes there’s a way to leave a brighter footprint on this planet and he’s living proof that one person can make a difference.

You can spot Rodney Vanvleet on his daily morning walks along Lutz Lake Fern Road.

But Rodney isn’t just getting in steps. He decided one day after seeing so much trash along the roadway to start picking it up.

“I’d take about two steps and there would be another cigarette butt and then there would be two or three and then there would be one,” he said.

Rodney couldn’t believe how many cigarette butts are tossed onto the groudn. Every day he picks up hundreds of them. After just a few months of picking up the butts during his walks, his whole garage was packed with trash.

But then, his wife made him throw it all out.

“The collection was making such a smell in the garage, Marsha was saying you gotta get rid of all those,” he said.

Today, Rodney disposes of the trash he finds on the spot. But, hhe hopes this one man journey inspires others to clean up and stop littering.

“God created this earth. He can’t be happy watching us destroy it with not just cigarette butts, with paper and cans. That has to be a sin.”

Rodney said that people stop and try to pay him money for cleaning up, which of course he doesn’t accept.

But he did welcome the orange vest you saw him wearing. One day a lady pulled over and gave it to Rodney as a gift.

Making this earth a cleaner place to live is what makes Rodney Vanvleet a great inspiration.

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