Crews aim to make Rochester a 'Litter Bit Better'

By Christina Killion-Valdez

The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Get involved

• Volunteers will collect litter across Rochester Saturday through April 24. To help, register online at or call 328-2431.

• RNeighborWoods tree planting in Manor Park and Diamond Ridge neighborhoods, April 24. Meet at 9 a.m. at Manor Park, 4238 Manor Park Dr. N.W.

• Greening of Rochester celebration picnic at Manor Park, noon April 24. Food provided by Great Harvest, Gingerbread House, Pepsi and Roscoe's Rootbeer and Ribs.

It's time for a little spring cleaning.

Starting Saturday, groups of volunteers will fan out across Rochester to scour ditches, parks, waterways and boulevards for trash as part of A Litter Bit Better, the annual week-long, citywide cleanup effort.

More than 200 groups, made up of several thousand individuals, are expected to take part in the fourth annual event, said Mike Kraszewski of the Rochester Public Works Department, who is coordinating logistics for the volunteers.


Last year's effort collected 39,100 pounds of trash, about 15,000 pounds more than the previous year.

While the goal of Litter Bit Better is to eventually pick up less trash each year through educating the public about stopping litter, Kraszewski said the added pounds can be attributed in part to groups cleaning areas that hadn't been picked up previously.

To help determine if clean streets and education do the trick, volunteers went out in March to count improperly discarded cigarette butts and post informational stickers and posters on public ashtrays, Plute said.

In one day, in just 10 spots throughout the city, those volunteers counted almost 24,000 cigarette butts on sidewalks and in gutters, she said. Another count will be done after the A Litter Bit Better cleanup to gage the effectiveness of the program, she said.

"A lot of the cigarette butts were found next to the container," Plute said. "We want to trigger people to take that extra step."

--> Once an area is cleaned, hopes are that the effort will deter people from littering there again. Read about it in Thursday's print edition.-- -- --

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