Cleaning up the city - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Fanna Haile-Selassie

Cleaning up the city


Rochester, MN (KTTC-DT) --

Earth day is just 4 days away, which means people around the country are doing their part to help the environment. In Rochester, RNeighbors has kicked-off off their 4th annual "Litter Bit Better" campaign.

On beautiful, warm, spring days in Minnesota, it's almost a requirement to get outdoors and enjoy nature. But it's hard to find pleasure in what Mother nature has to offer when it's covered in trash.

"Some of the things I find, here's an example right here. It's broken glass."

"Lots of beer bottles, cans, junk."

And these folks want to do something about. In fact, many volunteers hunt down trash in Rochester parks, streets, and sidewalks during the Make Rochester a Litter Bit Better campaign.

"I ride my bike to work downtown every day. I live just down the street, and it drives me nuts to see all of this trash along this beautiful parkway," says Jean Ellingson, a Litter Bit Better volunteer.

The event coincides with earth week in the early part of spring, allowing those brave enough to tackle the trash blown into prickly bushes before the leaves get too big.

"It's a good way to get out and enjoying your environment by cleaning it up a little bit," says another volunteer Amy Pumper.

And the effort doesn't go without notice. With so many people out walking and biking Sunday afternoon, you couldn't help notice the piles of green and blue trash bags, signaling that volunteers have made the place beautiful once again.

"It's heartening because people that walk by me say, 'Thank you, thank you for taking the time to do that.' And that just makes me feel good about what I'm doing and makes me want to continue," exclaims Ellingson.

"It doesn't take that long to go and find a trash can. It doesn't take that long to go and pick it up and take it with you home and throw it away where it belongs," explains Pumper.

Ellingson says in her half-mile stretch this year, she's only filled 3 bags, much better than her 5 last year.

The "Litter Bit Better campaign" runs through Saturday, with a big event at Manor Park at noon. If you'd like to be a part of the effort, click here:

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