Children clean up in nature

"Be careful, patrick, or i’ll beat you to death with all that iron jelly", calls lena. The nine-year-old starts, lifts a nondescript piece of iron into the air and throws it down with a flourish. There, her brother first takes cover, then he sticks the "projectile" in his large garbage bag. Cans, liquor bottles, packaging material, plastic toys, shards of glass and paper are already littering the soil.

It’s saturday afternoon, 14.30 o’clock at the winterleite in roblach. Lena, patrick and 15 other children and teenagers – divided into several groups and supported by eleven adults – are currently roaming through their hometown to rid it of trash and litter. Equipped with gloves, sturdy shoes and reflective protective jackets, they are out and about in very uncomfortable temperatures. The rain of the morning has made the ground slippery and therefore dangerous, it is cold and an icy wind is blowing in the faces of the boys and girls.

They had already discovered bottles, cigarette packets and foil at the side of the road. But what they have now found behind the bushes is a real shock to the public. Unknown persons have probably started a fire and burned the most impossible things in it – especially decorative objects and metal parts, as lena has just thrown to her brother.

Even a charred angel makes an appearance. "You can’t burn an angel, can you?, says lena stunned and adds: "people are stupid. How can you do something like that?" they spend almost half an hour picking more things out of the ashes. The bags are now full to the brim, some of them – due to the sharp edges of the iron pieces – full of holes.

Stefan asks youth worker peter schmidt by cell phone to bring new garbage bags. He actually arrives there a few minutes later. "This makes no sense. We have to let the municipality know so they can take care of it. It’s too dangerous for us.", says schmidt, looking at the already partly torn gloves of the young trash collectors.

Lena is nine years old and is taking part for the second time in the traditional clean-up campaign in roblach. Patrick is five years old and is celebrating his "premiere" this year. Whether they enjoy it? "Well", thinks lena. It would be nice if rosslach were clean again. And she also likes being out and about with others. But cleaning up other people’s mess because they are too lazy to use a trash can is no fun. "But if you always say "why me??Or ‘let the others do it,’ then it will stay there forever. That’s not possible", she says.

The children and young people set out on their return journey. They left their bulging sacks standing there. They are picked up later and the garbage is disposed of properly. The sacks, which are not yet completely full, they either drag over their shoulders or drag behind them. They pass a deep embankment. Dutifully, they climb down to see if there are any "treasures" here, too are hidden.
Lena toils and pulls a huge sheet out of the undergrowth. There she also finds a lid and a pot. "Is that a muffler?", she asks. She pulls and pulls. No chance! The part is much too heavy for her. But help is at hand: an adult finally pulls out the supposed exhaust pipe. This turns out to be the frame part of a latterwagen, which was simply disposed of in nature.

But that is not all. "I found a slatted frame", eleven-year-old lucas calls out.

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