Jacksonville “Litter Getter” Campaign To Expand, City Block Clean Up Being Planned

By Benjamin Cox on February 23, 2022 at 5:50am

Volunteers clean up the Town Brook in 2013. (Courtesy of the Jacksonville Park Foundation)

An initiative to beautify and clean up the City of Jacksonville is expanding. The “Litter Getter” campaign with several of Jacksonville’s service organizations occurred last summer. Ward 2 Alderwoman and Chair of the City’s Parks & Lakes Committee Lori Large-Oldenettel organized the initiative.

She says this year the initiative is expanding in two different ways after a community meeting held last Wednesday brought up several ideas: “One is we are going to expand that ‘litter getter’ campaign, and the service groups that participated last year are going to pick one Saturday a month. Every month on their particular Saturday, they are going to go out and collect trash and debris from the curbs and city streets. That’s one part of it – collecting trash and debris from city streets. Families would be able to do that with those groups.”

The extended “litter getter” campaign will run from March through October.

Oldenettel says the bigger effort will concentrate on particular neighborhoods and certain properties that have debris and trash: “We are going to get permission to help property owners remove trash, debris, items from their property that maybe they didn’t know how to get rid of or where to get rid of it. We’re going to partner with Buster Sanitation and bring in dumpsters. Our volunteers will do the heavy lifting of removing items from property that we get permission to remove it from. Then, we will also have a beautification work crew that will help remove overgrown brush or do trimming, and kind of bring things back in line with what the property owner might have in mind and how we can help them get to that idea.”

Oldenettel says that Community Development Director Brian Nyberg is currently working with City Attorney Dan Beard to draft a waiver for property owners who grant permission to have trash removed from the property. Nyberg says that this is not a code enforcement opportunity for the city and no tickets will be issued. He says people who are currently before the municipal court for their property won’t be eligible to enroll in the property clean-up efforts.

Volunteers for the property clean up must be 18 years of age to participate. Oldenettel hopes that neighbors and property owners will come out and pitch in to help beautify neighborhoods around the city.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Oldenettel at 217-370-4597 or via email at llarge238@gmail.com or Nyberg at 217-479-4620 extension 3521 or via email at bnyberg@jacksonvilleil.gov.