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Austin woman completes 500th round of 'trash hiking'

An avid hiker, Julie Sondecker said it was upsetting seeing people litter everywhere along the hiking trail.

AUSTIN — What started off as just one hike cleaning up trash quickly turned into a year of clean-up for Julie Sondecker.

Now that she's completed 500 'trash hikes,' she hopes to inspire others to do the same.

"I was a Girl Scout growing up," Sondecker said. "I was always taught to leave places cleaner then you first saw it."

As an avid hiker, she said it was upsetting seeing people litter everywhere along the hiking trail.

"'Someone should do something about this,'" she thought -- then realized she could do it herself.

She is now cleaning up beer cans, plastics and trash in Austin's Greenbelt.

"The number one piece of trash I find in the Greenbelt is dog poop bags," Sondecker said.

Her first round of cleaning-while-hiking was in 2017.

"I told myself I was going to do it for 100 days, then the whole year," she said.

So far, Sondecker has completed 500 trash hikes and has collected about 2,500 pounds of litter.

She said if everyone would just pick up a small amount of trash every day for a year, the world would be a cleaner place.

If you are interested in following Sondecker's mission, you can follow her on Instagram, where she posts photos of unusual things she finds dumped in the woods.

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Hike 499: Where does the time go?! Hittin’ the big 5-0-0 tomorrow! Stay tuned for a little announcement on what’s to come for 2019 ❤️ . . #happytrails #atx #bethechange #lovewhereyoulive #leavenotrace #dontmesswithtexas #keeptexasbeautiful #reducereuserecycle #planetorplastic

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