Clemert Lee has been a Denver Post reporter, a saxophonist and clarinetist, a court reporter and a Navy security guard. Now, however, Lee is 80 and, because "no one wants to hire a man my age," he went into business for himself three years ago. His job, as he puts it, is "cleaning up America."

With his wife of 52 years, Lee tramps along the West's interstate highways, picking up aluminum beer and soft-drink cans. "Ain't people nasty the way they throw junk all over the roadside?" said Lee last week, taking a break along the shoulder of Highway 15 in...

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