Springfield launches new initiative to clean up the city

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– The City of Springfield is getting a head start with spring cleaning with its new initiative: Clean Green Springfield.

“Clean Green Springfield is a community-wide clean-up and beautification effort,” said Cora Scott, public information and civic engagement director. “Our roadways, both inside and around Springfield, we’ve noticed there’s just an excessive amount of trash.”

Scott explained a clean city sparks a sense of pride in where you live.

“When you have a clean community, you have a community that people are proud of,” said Scott. “So, they feel a sense of ownership of that community. Citizens have come to the council and said, ‘We really need to clean up the city.’ People immediately say, ‘Yeah, I see it everywhere. How can we prevent that?'”

Scott said the city is offering opportunities like roadways and stream trash pickup along with neighborhood clean-ups.

“There are such a huge variety of volunteer opportunities throughout these couple of months,” said Scott. “Maybe you’re a family and you just want to get out on a Saturday and help us pick up some trash… or maybe you’re a youth group that is looking for something for 20 to 50 people.”

Citizens reported to the Citizen Resource Center more than 1000 complaints about trash and debris in the right-of-way and more than 2000 trash-related nuisances on private property in 2019. In 2020, 222 tons of waste were removed from Springfield neighborhoods.

“Trash ends up getting in our waterways and that’s a very negative health consequence,” said Scott.

It’s estimated there are over 600,000 pieces of trash and over 50,000 cigarette butts in Springfield streams.

“I’m hoping we only do this once and that will also teach about the importance of not littering and preventing this stuff from happening in the first place,” said Scott. “If there’s follow-up actions that need to be taken, if we learn more about where this trash is coming from, the city can certainly take a look at changing regulations or making things more strict.”

The Environmental Services staff members are currently creating a litter index to help determine where the trash is coming from.

To find out how you can get involved with Clean Green Springfield, click here.

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