Willy's Story

Willy's Story
In 2017 I was hiking in the Catskill Mountains and started picking up trash. I trained my eyes to find it in hard-to-see spots on and off the trail, and collected almost every piece I saw that I could reach without endangering my safety.  

I felt a deep sense of purpose and connection with the trails when I was doing that. When I would hike the same trail I had cleaned again, I knew I had made a difference. At the start, this mission was my little secret.

I counted the trash, took pictures of it, wrote poems about it, and asked myself how I could make a difference. I climbed all the peaks in the Catskills and became a Catskill 35er, and started sharing the trail cleaning work I was doing with other people I hiked with. A few cleanup hikes later, I met people at the Catskill 3500 Club dinner who recognized me for my cleanup work.

I moved back to New York City in August of 2017, and asked myself how I could make a difference with how we think about waste and dispose of it in our world. What would be possible if communities shifted the way they generated and treated waste? What if there was no waste in our world anymore? 

In April of 2018 I went into an office seeking an environmental internship. I left said office with the opportunity to create a non-profit, which is now Wasteless. In January of 2019 we incorporated.