Two sisters — “…we’re the senior citizen volunteer trash pickers!”
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A local resident, who took this photo, shared it with Samoa New along with information about the two sisters, who local residents have seen in the past week on the road early in the morning picking up trash, as volunteers.
For the past two years, Mrs. Lise Tauiliili who just turned 70 last month, has been picking up trash every day at 4 a.m. when she goes out for her morning walk.
Last year, her sister, Mrs. Tuu Vai, joined her, in not only getting much needed exercise but to pick up trash along the road in the busy Fagaima to the airport. The sisters go on different sides of the road so they can cover a lot of area when they pick up trash from the roundabout at Fagaima, heading to the airport, circling OMV and ending at ASPA.
Tauiliili said plastics are the biggest trash they collect and even cigarette butts. Sadly, she says a lot of trash is also picked up at the bus stops even though there are trash bins at these areas.
The sisters contacted ASPA for trash pickers and ASPA responded favorably to their request; while the sisters buy the trash bags using their own money.
ASPA employees pick up trash every Wednesday morning while the two sisters pick up trash every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Tauiliili said people who pass them on the road ask if they’re getting paid or have a contract with the government to pick up trash. And she usually responds jokingly, “Yes, we get a stipend... not... we’re the senior citizen volunteer trash pickers!”
On her 70th birthday last week, Tauiliili said she was pleasantly surprised when an ASPA team brought her a birthday cake and an envelope in appreciation for her and her sister’s community service. And the two sisters are thankful for ASPA’s support.
Tauiliili adds, “this is our only island, why not do something positive for it!”
Samoa News expresses its appreciation to the two sisters for their volunteer service as well as to the local resident, who provided the photo as well as information about the two sisters.