Estonians Seek Junk in Big Cleanup

TURI, Estonia -- Tens of thousands of Estonians scoured fields, streets, forests and riverbanks to amass tons of rubbish in the country's first national cleanup.

Using Google Maps to mark trash sites on the Internet and global positioning technology to locate the junk on the ground, Estonians collected everything from tractor batteries to plastic bottles and paint tins Saturday and ferried it, often in their own cars, to central dumps.

The campaign, which aimed to collect up to 10,000 tons of garbage, was organized by Internet entrepreneurs. "It is not really about the rubbish. It is about changing people's mind-sets. Next year, it might be something else," said Tiina Urm, spokeswoman for the event.

Estonia inherited a mass of garbage after it regained independence in 1991, but it has only added to the problem since. "It has to be done, it can't stay here," said Mats Eek, 17, cleaning up a site in the middle of a forest near Turi, 100 kilometers from Tallinn.