Trash at Marthaler Park in West St. Paul

Clean Up West St. Paul: Picking up the Trash

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Earlier this week at the City Council meeting, Mayor Dave Napier complained about trash at city parks and along Robert Street. He did grab some gloves and pick up some of the trash himself, but there’s a lot to do.

Yesterday morning I saw lots of trash while biking through Marthaler Park, so I organized a quick cleanup last night. When we showed up with gloves and trash bags, it wasn’t so bad. Someone must have beat us to the worst of it. We still spend a half hour or so cleaning up and collected a couple bags of trash. (Thanks for the help!)

What Can We Do?

There are a number of things we can do to help clean up our community and keep it clean:

  • Clean up after yourself: This is obvious, but the easiest way to fix this problem is to clean up after yourself. Sometimes we get distracted or forget where we set that water bottle down. Be mindful and take care of your trash.
  • DIY: Another simple thing you can do is to pick up trash when you see it. That kind of care for our community is inspiring. Though in the midst of a pandemic that might be a little harder—you might want gloves and don’t have them handy (if you really want to be a trash crusader, stash some gloves and bags in your car or bring them with you on a walk).
  • Make it official: A number of businesses, community groups, and even families have officially adopted parks, streets, and bus shelters to keep them clean. This can be a fun way to bring people together and do something good at the same time. Use it as a teaching moment for your kids or a bonding exercise for your team.

If you’re willing to step up and clean up our community, thank you. It’s great to have so many amenities and we need to take care of them.

Also, remember that trash happens and let’s try not to judge the who or the why. Sometimes that brilliant plan to have a picnic at the park goes awry—the kids are screaming and it’s all you can do to get out of there. Sometimes the trashcan is overflowing and what are you supposed to do? (When that happens, you can call the Parks Maintenance Department to request a pickup: 651-552-4160.)

Let’s work together to keep West St. Paul clean and welcoming.

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