Paradise Valley man calls himself “Poop Fairy” as he works to keep neighborhood clean

Jim Saunders calls himself the "Poop Fairy."
Jim Saunders calls himself the "Poop Fairy."(Arizona's Family)
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 9:05 PM MST
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PARADISE VALLEY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A Paradise Valley homeowner has taken it upon himself to keep his community clean. He took to Nextdoor to let neighbors know about the thankless job and encouraged them to participate. Jim Saunders calls himself the “Poop Fairy.”

Saunders said he often goes for walks and runs and sees trash. Then, he realized he could either get angry with his neighbors about the garbage they left behind or do something about it. “There’s no technique,” he joked. “I take a plastic bag with me, and I pick up waste, including dog waste, that’s lying on the side of the road,” he said.

The homeowner has a name for his job. “I kind of morphed into something called plogging; it’s a combination of two words that are actually in Swedish,” he explained. It means picking up and jogging.

He says there’s always trash to clean up in the neighborhood. “About the time I’m winded, there’s going to be something for me to bend down and pick up. I catch my breath, and then I start up again,” he said. “There’s no pride in that,” he replied.

Saunders also does it when he’s walking his dog. “This is today’s load,” he showed Arizona’s Family the bag he collected that morning. It was from dogs but also other debris he spotted along the way.

Arizona’s Family learned about his newish job through a post on Nextdoor. In it, he calls himself the “Poop Fairy,” writing it’s “not something I applied for or desired. There’s no health, dental or 401K.” He encourages those walking in Paradise Valley who see him with “a load in hand to wave or give a shout out, thanks Poop Fairy.”

“You can’t convince anyone of anything anymore, and so I said I’ll just write a tongue in cheek post and at least make people aware of the situation,” Saunders said about the post.

He’s hoping it will encourage others to do their part. “Being a Poop Fairy is not a one-person job; if anyone else would like to pick up the load, welcome to it,” Saunders said.