The snow has melted in Milwaukee, and it's hard to miss the trash that's piled up through the winter.
The Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services tells the I-Team trash is usually a problem this time of year.
It's one that's gotten more attention.
According to DNS data, from 2017 to 2019, the city investigated 16,052 garbage violations and orders. In 2020 and the first six weeks of 2021, it investigated 16,325 violations and orders.
Don Schaewe, the residential code enforcement manager at DNS, says he has about 30 inspectors to find and identify garbage violations, but they rely on community efforts to get to things the inspectors cannot.
"It's really the backbone of what keeps our neighborhoods clean," Schaewe said.
- Illegal dumping offenders slipping through the cracks, even after they're caught
- Illegal dumping on the rise in Milwaukee [PHOTOS]
"The volunteerism is vast and it gets to so much more than we would ever get to," he also said.
Earlier this month, the neighborhood group Guns Down Miltown along with several other organizations led a city-wide clean-up effort.
"We came together and was like, let's clean up the city," said one of the volunteers, Rico Legends. "We didn't even plan for it. It's something that the city needs, anyways. We need to see the streets cleaned and we need to unify and come together. We're bringing all our brands together to be examples for the youth and no only that but for people in the neighborhood, the community."
It not only makes the community look better but gets young people involved and invested in helping out.
Guns Down Miltown is holding two cleanup events in April. Click here to learn more about those groups.
And the city makes clean-up supplies available free of charge through its partnership with Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful. You can learn more about that by clicking here.
- Report illegal dumping over the phone: Call 414-286-CITY (2489)
- City of Milwaukee Dumping Reward
- City of Milwaukee Report Illegal Dumping Form