Opposite of Litter Bug

Angie Ripple

I am definitely the opposite of a litter bug. I’m not exactly sure where it came from, but I realize that my formative years on an Indian Reservation instilled values in me that many communities don’t foster as strongly. We didn’t actively go out and pick up trash around our neighborhood; honestly, I don’t remember that being an issue—when you don’t litter, you don’t have to pick it up later. I have always been more likely to pick up trash on a walk and toss it in a garbage bin than just walk past, although I did recently read of someone picking up a dollar and immediately feeling the effects of fentanyl, becoming very sick, and ending up hospitalized, so I’m not as likely to pick up after others without protecting myself first!

Bozeman has historically been a very clean place, but not all roads are free of litter. We are lucky enough to have at least one community member who has taken the responsibility of walking Huffine Lane and filling bag after bag with trash (shout out to Jan). April brings the opportunity for any community member to join Jan’s efforts and Clean Up Bozeman!

The City of Bozeman has created a program to encourage team cleanup opportunities. Your group just needs to pick your ideal date and location to de-litter, and the city will make sure your team has everything you need—from bags, vests, and gloves to bag pickup afterward. The five easy steps to create a cleanup group are: call the city at 406-582-3237 or send an email to solidwaste@bozeman.net ASAP with your desired location and the number of volunteers. Next, tell your group the plan. Have a team member pick up clean up kits a few days before your event.

Your kit will include:

Volunteer vests
Yellow trash bags (and ties)
Green recycling bags (and ties)
Hand sanitizer
Instructions for cleanup

All items will be in a sustainable, weatherproof container, which must be returned, along with the volunteer vests, hand sanitizer, and any unused materials. Now, clean it like you mean it! Get out there and clean up Bozeman! Once finished, return your kit with unused materials and pat yourself on the back.

It’s been a long winter, and the melting snow will uncover plenty that needs to be cleaned up, so give your city a hand this year, and feel good about giving back to our community.

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