A man from Bethel is on a mission to get Walmart stores in western Maine to pick up their outdoor litter before it pollutes nearby rivers and streams.
For Tony Bennett, the Androscoggin River and other waterways are what make western Maine unique.
Bennett said that he has tried to get the Walmart in Mexico to pick up trash littering the woods.
“Three years ago, I brought it to their attention at several of their stores in the western mountains of Maine here,” Bennett said. “And here we are still.”
On Wednesday, he took matters into his own hands.
Bennett went behind the Mexico Walmart and started picking up what he said were “mounds of trash” located between the store and nearby Androscoggin River.
“We don’t want none of this in the water,” Bennett said. “This is going out into the ocean. It’s getting dumped into the ocean. I knew I had to do something and push it to get it done.”
However, Walmart called police on Bennett for trespassing, and he was asked to leave the property.
A woman who lives next to Walmart said that the store should be the ones picking the trash up.
“Pick it up and take care of it. It’s on their back door. Not mine,” Patty Smith said. “I know the police were called and they [ran] him off. I don’t think that’s right at all. I think he was doing a good thing.”
Dan Hatfield said he saw Bennett arguing with Walmart security.
“If this guy was doing a good deed, and he was doing nothing wrong, then they should have let him just do a good citizen deed,” Hatfield said.
The Mexico Walmart store manager and the Walmart corporate office did not respond to requests for comment.
Bennett said that he was told it will get cleaned up.
“I’ve heard it from the district manager, and I’ve heard it from corporate. Stop blowing smoke up my a— and do something about it,” Bennett said. “The basic, bottom line is we just want this trash cleaned up. That’s what this is all about.”