ROCHESTER, Minn. — Volunteer crews gathered 6.55 tons of trash across the city of Rochester.
The efforts are a part of a week-long annual effort coordinated by R-Neighbors to help make Rochester a "litter bit better."
Stephanie Hatzenbihler, environmental education specialist of Rochester Public Works, says that when there's already trash on the ground, other people are more likely to litter.
"You don't necessarily feel that you are responsible because it's the norm; Other people are already doing it," she explains.
That's why the "Litter bit better" crews feel it's so important to keep Rochester trash-free, as well as to make sure garbage doesn't make its way into water to damage plant life and wildlife.
Over 4,000 volunteers — the most they've ever had — picked up trash at more than 300 locations all over Rochester. They had more volunteers this year but picked up less trash than last year. They're hoping this difference means there was less litter in Rochester this year.
Of the 6.55 tons, .99 tons of it is recycling and 1 ton of it is metal.
What can't be recycled will be burned, and everything else will be hauled to the Twin Cities to be properly recycled.