Duggan asks for help to reduce trash in Detroit

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Detroit — City officials, businesses and community members gathered Tuesday to tout plans for this year’s citywide cleanup and urged volunteers to join in.

Mayor Mike Duggan and the city’s Department of Neighborhoods hosted the annual Motor City Makeover campaign kickoff outside Cody High School in the city’s west side. The effort will take place during three Saturdays next month.

“All you have to do is walk or drive around this city and it’s dramatically cleaner than it was a couple years ago. There’s far less trash, there’s far less graffiti and there are far fewer vacant buildings,” Duggan said on Tuesday. “But we have a long way to go. Government can’t do everything, and we’re asking people to pitch in.”

This year, the clean-ups will take place by district and begin May 7 in the city’s far west and southwest sides in Districts 6 and 7. Central and east Detroit’s District 3, 5 and 5 will get cleaned up on May 14, and central and northwest Districts 1 and 2 are slated for May 21.

Individuals and groups must register with the city to receive limited supplies, including bags and gloves and to schedule special pickups.

Last year, sponsors donated 88 dumpsters, $35,250 in cash and $70,000 toward in-kind donations and supplies. Among the sponsors of the program are Rizzo Environmental Services, Homrich Wrecking, Marathon Petroleum Co., Meijer and others.

BBEK Environmental Co. is the title sponsor of the 2016 makeover program, donating $7,500 as well as $5,500 for in-kind services. The company, which also joined in the effort last year, has donated $7,500 as well as $5,500 for in-kind services.

“I ask for as many volunteers as possible,” said BBEK owner Kevin Woods, who also participated in the effort last year. “We can knock this thing out. All I ask is that if we do our part, everybody else does theirs.”

In 2015, the city’s Department of Public Works removed 31,800 tons of illegal dumping from 44,641 locations and collected 111,000 tires, officials said.

Motor City Blight Busters founder John George said the group launched its own cleanup program nearly 30 years ago. Afterward, the Archer administration put a citywide program in place, said George who was on hand for the kickoff.

“I’ve always said the city is a diamond in the rough. If we can just polish it up a little bit it would shine again,” he said. “Motor City Makeover is a big effort that continues that energy to make Detroit great.”

To register, visit motorcitymakeover.org or call (313) 224-4415.