Nevaeh Edwards and Caleb Dan load Caleb’s father’s pickup truck with trash they collected along roads in Oxford. Submitted photo

OXFORD — The Dan family is on a mission to make their little corner of the world a better place.

During three weekends in April, parents Walter and Debra Dan of Oxford, their son Caleb Dan and Caleb’s sister Neveah Edwards of Sebago picked up close to 40 bags of trash along South Town Farm, Robinson Hill, Whittemore and Paine roads in East Oxford.

As members of the Bog Hooters ATV Club in Mechanic Falls, Dan and Caleb have participated in a trash pickup every spring. This year, Nevaeh, who visits on weekends, wanted to help so they made it a family affair, and instead of just one weekend they decided to continue. To date, they have filled close to 40 bags and they’re not done yet.

“The kids really enjoy it,” Debra Dan said, despite it being about as dirty a job as possible. “Caleb started early this year because he wanted Nevaeh to help. Now they just want to keep doing it.”

Nevaeh Edwards, 9, of Sebago and her brother Caleb Dan, 10, of Oxford are making roads in East Oxford a cleaner place to live this spring. Supplied photo

The community service by Caleb, 10 and Neveah, 9, is not for the faint of heart. Returning bottles will provide the two with a small financial reward. Living in a cleaner neighborhood will be more satisfying.

But the trash they are finding? It is downright disrespectful — and “gross,” added Nevaeh — what litters roadways.


The family has been spending up to 12 hours a weekend on their mission. Walter takes his pickup truck loaded with bags to the transfer station for disposal.

At the top of the list of the garbage? Used cups from local coffee shops. Some things are at least somewhat interesting, like bones from deer and other wildlife, and observing crows that spend their time hopping along ditches, looking for their own treasures.

The children have not found anything of value to them — no cash or lost valuables. But for the rest of it?

“Way too many broken bottles,” Nevaeh said. “A lot of broken bottles. There’s men’s underwear, dirty diapers, dirty pads and tampons.”

“Dirty diapers,” Caleb said. “It’s nasty. It makes me very mad. There is no need of it.”

Asked why they are so committed to taking responsibility where others do not, the answer was simple. They just want a cleaner world.

“People should take their trash home and throw it away there,” Nevaeh said. “If we see anyone throwing trash we will tell them to pick up or put it where it belongs.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.