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Cedar Rapids Residents Smash Litter-collection Record

Cedar Rapids Residents Smash Litter-collection Record

July 7, 2021

Volunteers showed up in droves this year to clean city streets and take City Manager Jeff Pomeranz’s 1-Bag Challenge. A total of 4,476 bags of litter were collected in fiscal year 2021 by resident volunteers, the City’s Solid Waste & Recycling Division, and contracted workers. This nearly doubles the previous record set in 2018—the challenge’s sixth year—of 2,341 bags.

New this year, participants in Willis Dady’s programming provided dedicated litter cleanup efforts through an agreement with the City. This organization joined numerous volunteer groups and individuals participating in litter collection across the community from 2020–21.

City staff and contractor Stark Enterprises of Cedar Rapids provided litter collection along I-380 and busy street corridors. These efforts contributed more than 3,300 bags to this year’s record-breaking count. The City’s mini litter vacuum added additional assistance in the fight against litter, collecting approximately 3.11 tons of litter over 132 hours. This number is not included in the final tally of bags collected.

Raising the Bar

Pomeranz said he’s pleased with the results. “Litter and debris were additional challenges for our community after the derecho. Our residents once again rose to the occasion,” Pomeranz said. “Our volunteers’ dedication to the 1-Bag Challenge proves the pride we all take in Cedar Rapids.”

Enthused by the record-breaking numbers, Pomeranz noted there is always room for improvement. “The 1-Bag Challenge asks every able resident to clean up one bag of litter each year. While this new record sets a high bar, there is still more work to do. There’s never a day off in the fight against litter.”

To date the challenge has inspired volunteers to fill nearly 18,250 bags — removing a whopping 228 estimated tons of trash from City streets. The program began in 2012. Final collection numbers have been tallied at the end of each fiscal year since June 2014.

One bag is all it takes to make a difference in your neighborhood. Learn where to pick up a free litter-collection kit and how to join the City Manager’s 1-Bag Challenge or adopt a road at www.CleanUpCR.com

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