It would be difficult to guess the number of cigarette butts that Joe Scopacasa has retrieved from Glendale’s streets for the last decade. He says he finds hundreds of them in a two-block radius near the Lexus dealership on Brand Boulevard where he’s combed the streets, ridding it of other people’s filth.
“You can imagine, throughout the city,” he says of the unknown number of cigarette butts.
This month, Scopacasa was named “Volunteer of the Year” by the Committee for a Clean and Beautiful Glendale. He was one of 1,900 volunteers—families, students, businesses, service groups and church groups—who dedicated a portion of 16,000 total hours of service to the committee’s programs in the past year.
Scopacasa volunteers at least once a week at the dealership where they keep a closet for the tools he uses to collect trash from the street. He encounters other junk such as cups left in buildings’ window sills or discarded items by the bus stop.