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A group of volunteers meets every other week to make sure the Capital City stays beautiful

Storm drain in Downtown Lansing
Street Diaper
Pick Up Lansing Final Hoo Rah
PickUpLansing Logo
Posted at 4:25 PM, Apr 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-02 20:09:30-04

LANSING, Mich. —
Like all cities, Lansing sees its share of litter. The city’s urban rain gardens are especially prone to collecting a lot of trash.

Storm drain in Downtown Lansing
Pick Up Lansing Crew Cleaning up storm drains

Lansing resident Michael McCallum noticed the mess and decided he needed to do something about it. He put together a group of volunteers who call themselves PickUp Lansing, and for the past year, they have been trying to remove trash from the city streets.

Michael says he does it because he cares about the city and how it looks.

“We don’t get anything from this other than doing something positive. It’s amazing that you feel so much better after picking trash up for two hours," said Michael.

What Michael and the group finds just tossed out on the street can sometimes be downright scary!

“We found some really weird things; one of our volunteers, Mary, found a big to-go cup that was full of old used needles. That’s something that shouldn't be out for everybody to see. I think almost every single pickup there's been a diaper in the middle of the street, which is always really classy.”

Street Diaper
Michael McCullum asking, "why would someone throw a diaper in the middle of the storm drain?"

Mary Cusack has been volunteering with PickUp Lansing since last year, and she loves it.

“I found out it was really addictive. It’s fun, and part of it is like a game. You start to get the challenge of picking up things. You find some crazy items and that can sometimes be rewarding. We find tools; we find all kinds of clothing that are discarded. Items such as underwear and socks. Just crazy stuff.

Mary says what is shocking is that often there is a trash receptacle just a few feet away from where the trash is found.

“There are trash receptacles all over downtown. We live in these neighborhoods, and we want the place we live to look good.”

Michael’s Dad, William, says he is often surprised by what he finds.

“I found a surfboard, what they call a skinner board for waves, and it was stuffed in the sewer. I don't know if somebody borrowed it and got panicky. We pick up masks, tons of masks.”

Pick Up Lansing Final Hoo Rah
At the end of every pick up, the group concludes the session with a ritualistic dumping of the trash and a celebratory "PICK UP LANSING" shout.

Pick Up Lansing volunteers say they are always looking for people to help them out. They organize bi-weekly events, and if you are interested in helping out you can visit their Facebook page @PickUpLansingMovement. The group is even expanding to cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids.

We want to say thank you to PickUp Lansing for making Michigan’s Capital City even more beautiful.

PickUpLansing Logo

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Bob Hoffman

Bob Hoffman

9:44 PM, Nov 26, 2018

Good Neighbors Host

Bob Hoffman