Take Care of the Mountain, and the Mountain Takes Care of You

Brothers Bill, 62, and Bob Mayer, 61, originally hail from Alabama but moved to Decatur, GA, in 1963, and have been climbing Stone Mountain for the past four decades. Bob now resides in Lawrenceville and is a broker for a natural and organic food sales company in Tucker. Bill, an illustrator and “chronic scribbler” still calls Decatur home. Six years ago the two started an organized recycling operation at the mountain and are easy to spot at least once a day hefting plastic bottles down the mountain in green pack-barrels they designed themselves (a few other regulars such as Richard Broad and Jim Williams help almost daily, too). Early on, the recycling effort received a $5,000 donation from the General Mills, Inc. branch in Covington, GA, which also donated several sturdy wooden trash receptacles at the base and summit of the mountain. But these dedicated stewards of the mountain receive no money for their efforts or from the recyclables, nor any perks from Stone Mountain Park beyond just being able to park in the personnel lot. Eventually the brothers plan to launch a website devoted to their recycling program at the mountain. They estimate their weekly haul to be about ten to fifteen 55-gallon drums a week—or as Bill puts it, “a full-size blue whale amount.”