Local News

Cumberland man is on a litter-free mission

Posted April 10, 2009 5:49 p.m. EDT
Updated April 10, 2009 6:28 p.m. EDT

— Dale Godwin’s mission to stop people from throwing trash in his front yard has become a passion to clean up trash everywhere.

“It’s pathetic,” Godwin said. “I want people to stop littering.”

The veteran came up with the idea three months ago to put the phrase, “Stupid people litter” on his mailbox.

“I noticed in the next few days nobody had littered in that area anymore,” he said.

Realizing he was onto something, Godwin used his own money to order hundreds of bumper stickers with the phrase. He has handed out more than 700 of them and has branched off into T-shirts.

Godwin plans to sell the T-shirts for $9 and use the proceeds to further his cause.

“This really hits home. Nobody wants to be in this class of people – stupid,” Godwin said. “You’re not directly telling someone you encounter that they’re stupid. What it simply does is (say), ‘If the shoe fits, wear it.’“

Brandi Paris, who lives in Godwin’s neighborhood, said she used to watch people dump their trash in yards.. When she saw Godwin’s stickers, she jumped at the chance to get one.

“I love it. It’s true. It couldn’t be any more true,” Paris said.

Although some people have joined his cause, Godwin said he has heard excuses like, “I’m just giving someone a job” by littering.

"Yeah, you're taking our money, too. And you're taking away the beauty of what could be underneath what you've thrown down,” Godwin said.

Godwin plans to spread his message at Fayetteville Beautiful’s citywide cleanup on April 18. The event is part of the statewide Spring Litter Sweep to clean the state’s roadsides.

Godwin also hopes to start a Web site to further his message. He asks that anyone wanting to help contact him by e-mail at dalegodwin@nc.rr.com.