'We all have a responsibility': Volunteers pick up litter for 6th annual Big Clean MKE

NOW: ’We all have a responsibility’: Volunteers pick up litter for 6th annual Big Clean MKE

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – In honor of Earth Day, Milwaukee leaders brought community members together to tidy up the city.

"All this mess has to be cleaned up. Somebody's got to do it, you know, why not me," said Ameen Alen, one of many volunteers that spent their Monday cleaning up neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

"I think it's just a matter of having pride in where you're at, or where you're working, or where you're living," said volunteer Kristina Meredith.

The effort is part of Big Clean MKE, a yearly initiative bringing community organizations together to pick up litter.

Alderman Russell Stamper started the initiative six years ago, in memory of Greg "Ziggy" Zyszkiewicz, a Milwaukee special enforcement inspector who was killed in 2017 in the line of duty.

"We all have a responsibility of keeping this community clean, and to instill pride and hope, the best thing you can do is have a clean, safe, and healthy community," Stamper said Monday.

Big Clean MKE is in collaboration with WestCare Wisconsin, who has organized a Harambee neighborhood cleanup for seven years.

"We provide pickers, we provide buckets, trash bags, sometimes rakes, shovels," said Travis Landry, regional vice president of WestCare Wisconsin. "It takes an effort throughout the entire city of Milwaukee to keep it clean."

More than 20 organizations are involved, and some hosted cleanups starting on Friday.

"We had a total of around 50 cleanups throughout Friday until the end of this week," Landry said.

Thanks to an abundance of volunteers, the initiative is an easy way to beautify the city.

"You just want to get rid of all of this and make it a prettier place," Meredith said.

"When you've got a clean area, you've got a clean everything," Alen said.

Click here to learn more about Big Clean MKE.

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