Man Behind Trash Barrels Strives to Curb Litter in Southeast Dallas

In soaring temperatures Sunday, 72-year-old Kenneth Winn braved the heat to put out two additional trash barrels in southeast Dallas and check several others.

Winn is now responsible for 42 big, blue barrels lined with trash bags and covered with anti-litter literature along roadsides across the area.

"There's about 100 pounds of concrete in this," he says as he wheels one of the barrels toward his custom truck and trailer. 

He has spent countless hours collecting individual pieces of trash for years, and over the past year he has created, maintained and emptied dozens of trash barrels. 

"A lot of people are asking for them in the neighborhoods," Winn said.

Winn loves his Pleasant Grove neighborhood, and believes less trash lining the streets means more businesses could be attracted to the area. He also believes less litter means less crime.

"Pleasant Grove has a bad image and I’m working to clean it up because when you’ve got more litter, you’ve got more crime," Winn said, "it brings more crime in area, more than it would if it was clean."

In the 8 years he's made it his mission to clean up the area, he's collected over 50,000 'bandit signs' and hundreds of bags of trash.

Now, his trashcans are making a difference.

"I collected 40 to 80 bags of litter a month off my cans," Winn said, "I don’t of any other person that does this that’s just a private citizen."

Winn has agreements with nearby business and the city will assist in helping him properly dispose of the trash he collects.

"Usually, when people see my truck they don’t throw trash down," Winn said of his tricked out crime-fighting, trash collecting truck, "when they see it – matter of fact, they pick the trash up."

The truck is equiped with various security cameras, signs and a work trailer.

"...it goes a long ways," Winn said, "I enjoy this more than going out and making money."

Each trash barrel he creates costs upwards of $40.00, and Winn says he has spent more than $1,000 of his own money so far. But, he's not going it alone.

Donations are beginning to pick up, and he's received just under $1,000 in donations so far. Various organizations that have helped include Texas Horse Park, Coca Cola, Councilman Rick Callahan, Steve Powell Automotive, Southeast Dallas Chamber of Commerce, John Ting, SC Civic League, Hair Styles by Mary and the Piedmont-Scyene HOA Crime Watch Group.

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