Stan Schenher is a hard man to miss.
Some Fishers residents may recognize him if they don’t know his name. The 69-year-old can be seen twice daily, either walking or driving a golf cart, smoking a cigar and picking up trash along several stretches of road.
“I’ve picked up trash for over 40 years, but I just recently adopted my stretches,” said Schenher, who has adopted several stretches of road throughout the City of Fishers. “I just keep adding.
“Especially with the golf cart, I’ve been able to add a couple stretches this year.”
Schenher picks up trash on two stretches along 116th Street, from Hoosier Road to Cumberland Road. His other stretches are 106th Street from Geist Road to Fall Road; Geist Road from Fall Creek to 106th Street; Brooks School Road from 116th Street to Fall Creek; and Hoosier Road from 116th Street to 126th Street.
Schenher goes out on one of the stretches every day, walking around 9:30 a.m. and driving his golf cart around 3:30 p.m.
Schenher previously ran his routes and picked up trash along the way, depositing it in trash cans and dumpsters as he ran or returning later to pick it up. But after a hip replacement a few years ago, he mostly rides in his golf cart. In 2018, a police officer stopped him and cited him for a city ordinance violation.
“An officer stopped me in my neighborhood and asked if I knew about the ordinance, and I said, ‘Yeah, I’m just picking up trash,’ but he said I still couldn’t do it,” Schenher said.
Later, a neighbor saw Schenher walking a route and asked him why he wasn’t in his golf cart. After Schenher confided in his neighbor about the situation, his neighbor raised the issue with the city council.
An ordinance was passed last summer that allows golf carts on certain stretches of road as long as the driver has a driver’s license, insurance and the golf cart is equipped with turn signals. Because of the ordinance, Schenher has become known for smoking a cigar, usually a Mederos, while he drives the cart and picks up trash.
“I have always smoked cigars,” he said. “That’s my one bad habit. I tell everybody the reason I smoke is because my doctor told me I was living too clean a life so I started smoking cigars. She wasn’t really pleased when I told her I said that, but it’s a joke.”
Schenher retired from a sales manager job at UPS 14 years ago. He enjoys picking up trash for several reasons.
“It’s my exercise, and anytime I want do it, it is a little bit of help for the environment and community,” he said. “I meet a lot of nice people walking and riding, and people tolerate me pretty much. I get honks and waves, and I enjoy that. That’s fun.”
Schenher encourages others to adopt a stretch of road. That, or just clean up their yards.
“It’s amazing how many things I pick up in yards,” he said. “I’d like people to adopt a small place of their own and try to keep the neighborhoods around Fishers looking clean.”
Schenher is a member of Holy Spirit at Geist church, where he helps with bereavement ministry and other tasks. He lives with his wife, Linda. Their three daughters and nine grandchildren, ages 1 to 16, also live in Fishers.
Encountering strange items
Some of the strangest items Schenher has encountered while driving his routes are underwear and pants.
“I once picked up about eight or nine underpants. I don’t know how they got on the road,” he said. “And probably one of the weirdest was on Brooks School Road. I saw something laying in the road and went back later to pick it up, and it was three pairs of Dockers pants. The odd thing was, they were my size, and two were brand new with the tags still on them.”
Schenher washed the pants, kept one pair and gave away the other two.
He also has found wallets and cellphones.
“I try to track (the owners) down,” he said. “I’m usually able to find them, and people are pretty excited about that.”