Local man collects cans along roadside

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 29, 2006

PEDRO — Most days Carl Mullins can be seen strolling along County Road 26. He parks his truck and takes off down the winding roads, many times walking 2 or 3 miles picking up cans and plucking raspberries off bushes he finds along the way.

Mullins also collects some honks and waves during each one of his treks.

“I just pull over and stop wherever I see the most cans,” said the 70-year-old Dayton Malleable retiree. “I just walk here and there, I guess it really depends on what I see.”

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He lives next to Rock Hill High School. He usually doesn’t stray too far off the beaten path, especially since he said the traffic has gotten a lot heavier and moves at a faster pace than it did when he first moved there more than three decades ago.

“With the high school and the ball fields up there now, it can get really busy out through here,” Mullins said. “It’s really different than it used to be.”

Although the cans he collects put some extra change in his pocket — each pound nets about 70 cents — Mullins said he enjoys other benefits exercising and getting outdoors, when the weather cooperates.

“You have to get out and do something if you want to keep going,” said Mullins, father of two daughters, two granddaughters and two grandsons.

His age has also limited his ability to venture further into the wooded areas in his community. Mullins said he and his wife, Phyllis, used to hunt for ginseng, but that feat has become to difficult.

“When you get older you just can’t do what you used to,” he said with a smile.

Although he tries to get as much exercise as he can, Mullins admits that he is a couch potato most of the times. He loves to watch a good boxing match and Ohio State and Marshall football games.

“I have a big man’s lounge chair at home and most of the time I’m sitting there if there are sports on,” Mullins said.