Neighborhood Cleanliness Project

Recent changes in the ordinance allow for the piloted large item collection by appointment system (explained below) to be implemented in the rest of the Urban Services District. This appointment system is still only being used in the Shelby Park/Smoketown pilot area. Further use of this program will be announced. 

Pilot Area Results: Shelby Park & Smoketown

Cleanliness plays a vital role in the quality of life in our neighborhoods. We found that raising awareness, improving the current trash collection system, and emphasizing community pride would have the biggest impact on improving neighborhood cleanliness. ​

This project was piloted in the Shelby Park & Smoketown neighborhoods. This area was chosen because of its strong neighborhood associations and large number of alleys and bus stops, which are major contributors to litter. Click the map for a detailed view of the area. 

Neighborhood Cleanliness Pilot Area Map

Litter Assessments

Litter Assessments were done to establish a baseline and throughout the program to measure success. Neighbors, staff, and partnering organizations helped with the assessments. During each assessment, we:

Litter assessment scoring criteria
  1. Walked each street and gave it a score based on the guideline.
  2. Noted where litter came from, how it likely got there, and any locations causing litter. 
  3. Mapped the average scores. Click the maps below to see larger views.

Litter Assessment Scores


Date Average Score
March 2017 2.6
August 2018 2.28
March 2019 2.25
August 2019 2.01
Litter Assessment Maps, August 2018 vs August 2019
August 2018 August 2019
Litter assessment results August 2018
Litter assessment results August 2019


Collection System Improvements

95 gallon garbage cart
    • 16 decorative litter receptacles were added to the area. 
    • 77 houesholds with consistently overflowing garbage received an additional garbage cart.
    • 4 recycling carts were given to area households that requested.
    • New Appointment-Based Large Item Collection system for the pilot area only. (See Director's Order that approves these changes.) 
      • Over 690 collections of large items have been made since the pilot began.
      • After a slow start, up to 80% of residents used the system correctly.
      • 28% of households utilizing the system used it more than once, with 10% using it 3 or more times.

    Community Standards

    • Garbage carts left in alleys all the time contribute to the litter issue and violates local ordinance. The program provided extra education about the ordinance and enforcement for bringing waste containers away from alley after collection.
    • Metro311 reports of solid waste issues in the area, including illegal dumping, were reduced by 50%.
    • 10 surveillance cameras were added to the area to help catch illegal dumping.
    • Four vehicles were impounded for illegal dumping.

    Education & Outreach

    • 95 people pledged online to not litter, pick up litter around their home, and place a sign in their yard to help bring awareness to the program.
    • Staff attended neighborhood meetings and events to promote the program.

    How can I help?

    Neighborhood cleanliness yard sign
    Take the pledge and be a litter champion! Residents living within the pilot area will receive a FREE yard sign!

    Check out these helpful tips to reduce litter! Follow the suggestions and share ideas with your friends!

    Organize a Neighborhood Cleanup

    Learn which local laws help prevent litter

    Report a Litterer

    Report Illegal Dumping


    More resources:

    Keep America Beautiful strives to end litter, improve recycling, and beautify communities. 

    Litterati - Join the community identifying, mapping, and collecting the world's litter. 


    Large Item Pick Up - 4 easy steps!


    This service replaces the current "junk" collection system, which will reduce litter in our neighborhoods.  If you live in a residential property with 8 or fewer units (including condominiums) within the pilot area, you can now get rid of up to 4 large items, once per week, by simply making an appointment! Follow these 4 easy steps:

    1. Check to see whether your items are acceptable:


    • Household items too large to fit inside a garbage cart (Furniture, Appliances, etc.)
      Item too large for garbage cart


    2. Click or Call to schedule a pick up:

    Schedule your pick up online or call 574-2843 to use the voicemail system.

    Items are picked up on Tuesdays only. Requests made after 1:00 p.m. on Mondays will be picked up the following week. 

    3. Set out your items:
    • Set out items the day before your scheduled appointment. 
    • Items should be placed in the same location as garbage collection.
    • Keep items clear of other objects and do not block sidewalks or streets. 
    • Only the items listed on the request will be picked up. 
    4. Repeat as needed, up to once a week


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