Finding The Good: Cleaning a community, one step at a time

In between bus runs, Ruth Seward walks; Picking up any and all garbage she finds on the side of the road.
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 6:24 PM EDT
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WINDSOR (WBNG) -- For the past few year, one Broome County woman has dedicated her free time to bettering her community, one piece of trash at a time.

Ruth Seward has been driving students from Windsor Central School District to and from school for the past seven years.

However, in between runs, she walks; Picking up any and all garbage she finds on the side of the road.

“It always bothered me,” Seward said. “Especially when you start driving a bus because you’re sitting up high and you’re seeing it, and I would see paper and bottles and I hated it.”

So, she decided to take matter into her own hands.

“My dad - when he was still alive - after he would go down to the diner and have breakfast, he’d come back home and he’d just pick up bottles laughing like, ‘Hey I made 15 cents today,’ and ‘I made 30 cents today,’ and they called my dad ‘crow’. That was his nickname. The whole village knew my dad and his name was ‘crow’ so they always said he was picking stuff up that was shiny,” she said. “Well, I’m the next generation and I pick up everything.”

And she’s dont exactly that for the past three-and-a-half years.

Beginning at her home, she walks all the way down Main St. to the high school and back while filling her reusable bag full of trash.

“A lot of people going by will holler and go, ‘Hey thank you.’ Guys in motorcycle groups will go by, and even the kids will say, ‘Thank you. I appreciate what you have done for the environment,’ and I say ‘It’s for you kids. You’re going to be here a lot longer than me,’” said Seward.

Because at the end of the day, it’s about leaving the community better than she found it.

“I told my husband my thing is when I go, instead of flowers, everybody through the community can take a bag and pick up the garbage for that day for my memory and that’s how I want to be remembered.”

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