We've got a lot to unpack here. There's trash everywhere, we all can do better and how to begin is shockingly easier than I thought.

Next time you are out and about take a real good look for places that need a good clean-up, make a note of the type of trash, and take pictures so it can be dealt with. There's a bit of blinder action going on in all of us. A trash bin full of it's not my problem knocked over and left for someone else to take care of going on. There's a lot of trash but more of us so here's a thought.

Let's fix it!

Simply start with the inside of your vehicle.

Katie Co-Founder of the Facebook Group Keep Yakima Clean says, "

Clean it out. You know when it's windy and those peices of paper fly out of your car? You don't think much about it, but amplify that by every car and it really is an everyone issue.

The next step would be securing your garbage bags and keeping your garbage area cleaned up. I am guilty of throwing an untied bag in the trash and she says securing the bag helps stop the contents from blowing everywhere. Super easy fix and very helpful to the trash handlers.

More than that Katie mentioned there's a major trash dumping issue. Sites the volunteer group's already cleaned up are filling back up and even during a recent clean-up someone dumped like nine mini propane bottles in a spot they'd just cleared! Let's stop writing our complaints about our city on social media and become part of the solution to make this pretty baby sparkle!

Here's How You Can Help

Keep Yakima Clean has successfully picked up 10,000 pounds of trash since the group began and is ready to clean up as many locations as you're willing to give them! Join The Keep Yakima Clean Facebook Group to begin participating. You'll find all the updates and help spread the word because the more volunteers the better, even ask Katie about hours if you are in need of official documentation. The goal is to complete three clean-ups a month and major ways to help include

  • Enforcement Tickets - The City of Yakima will take your complaint and act on it. Report it all and this will help cut down on dumping across the valley
  • Reach out to Landlords or report if the trash isn't taken care of. It's their responsibility to keep the area maintained
  • Would you be willing to donate your truck bed for an upcoming clean-up?
  • Donate items like gloves, pickers, bags, strong ties to close bags, vests, hand sanitizer, sunscreen and a big one currently would be some type of tent (you can add your logo) so when they rest there is some shade

Katie goes out to each site beforehand to set up the game plan. She figures out the safest route to pick up, parking, and kind of eyeballs how much trash there could be. Tires versus paint buckets and such. She says it's wild once you get into a site, there's more trash than you think but she just pops her headphones in and stays in the zone. She's a true heroine in my eyes because there's a real fire behind her clean-ups. She's been there and done that and now, she just wants to give back and would love your help!

Keep Yakima Clean Sites