Volunteer Spotlight: Dr. David V. Martin

If you’ve ever driven down or taken a walk along any of Smyrna’s major roadways, there’s a good chance you’ve spotted Dr. David V. Martin, commonly known as Doctor Dave, picking up litter. Martin has lived in Smyrna with his wife, Lynn Dee, since 1980.

“I’ve been picking up litter as long as I can remember,” says Doctor Dave. “First, near my work in downtown Atlanta. Someone else who did that was Ted Turner,” he adds. With a background in economics and economic education, Martin is interested in the relationship of litter to economic concepts.

“I am trying to turn negative externalities (bad stuff) into positive externalities (a pleasing environment),” he says.

In addition to picking up litter Monday through Saturday independently, Martin volunteers with the Smyrna First United Methodist Church Adopt-a-Mile group.

Of the more than 1,200 trash bags of litter Keep Smyrna Beautiful volunteers pick up each year, about 500 of those bags are picked up by Martin alone. He also picks up quite a few cigarette butts—one of the most littered items. His record during one cleanup is 417 butts!

While he might be most recognized as the guy who picks up trash, at the heart of Martin’s efforts are relationships and building community. When he’s not picking up litter, he is known for gifting delicious homemade banana nut bread to friends and neighbors. In all he does, he works to make the lives of Smyrna residents a little brighter.

“Picking up litter is important to me,” he says. “I get a lot of satisfaction from my daily walks – and I also get to know a lot of interesting people and pets.”

Are you interested in joining Doctor Dave as a KSB volunteer? Learn more and fill out an online application.

Pictured, left to right: Dr. David V. Martin, Keith Douglas, Karen Douglas, and Bernice Meyer, all members of the Smyrna First United Methodist Church Adopt-a-Mile group.

© 2024 by Keep Smyrna Beautiful.