IMS trash brings big bucks


It's a dirty, stinky job but someone has to do it and there is no shortage of volunteers.  The day after the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 and hundreds of people are at the track sloshing thru and picking up the tons of trash left behind.

"we're picking up trash and paper and cans.  It's really nasty, like mushy food," said Angelique Johnson.  

Johnson was with a group from Providence AME Church working the Turn 3 bleachers. 

The Church is one of 25 groups hired by IMS to help with clean-up. The groups get paid anywhere from $1,000 - $3,500 to pick up trash from large sections.

Jerome Patton, also with the church  said, "we're pretty organized in what we do. We sweep it down to the edge (of the bleachers) and separate the trash from the cans."

Kione Smith said, "I think it's worth raising the money and doing a good cause for like, community service, but I don't think it's so worth getting debris all over you."

Smith pointed to her hands adding, "it's a lot and it gets thru your gloves.  I wear two-to-three gloves at once."

Doug Boles a spokesperson for IMS said while "ecology" isn't necessarily the most popular duty, there is a waiting list.

Andrew Gossell, the athletic director for Covenant Christian High School isn't surprised.

"just financially it helps us offset some of our costs and I tell the kids, we make a few thousand bucks for three-to-fours work."

Gossell said it means students don't have to pay athletic fees which average about $100 per student.

Boles said he's not sure how much trash is left behind, other than to say "tons and tons," but almost all of it is done by day's end with IMS crews finishing up Tuesday and Wednesday.