Man spends 24 hours straight cleaning up Cleveland streets

Published: Jul. 29, 2016 at 7:33 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2016 at 8:06 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland has been receiving a lot of praise the last few weeks for their handling of the Republican National Convention, with delegates and attendees describing the city as organized, courteous and clean. That last adjective may be at least in part due to one Clevelander who, as a pledge for the organization Because I Said I Would, decided to clean up trash for 24 straight hours the weekend before the big event.

Because I Said I Would encourages people to complete promises they make to themselves and their community by filling out "promise cards" listing their goals. The organization has distributed nearly four and a half million cards since its founding in 2012.

The man, who posted his story on Imgur, promised to pick up trash for 24 hours. He went from 11 a.m. Saturday to 11 a.m. Sunday, only stopping to eat and use the restroom. Initially, he was working with a group of ten others, but he was the only one who continued on all day.

The man traveled down Detroit Avenue from Lakewood to downtown, detailing all of the trash he found in the Imgur post and discussing the dangers littering can have for the environment.

According to him, the most common type of litter in the USA is tobacco products. He also cited a California State University study saying that 91 percent of litter is under four inches long, meaning it can travel through sewer grates into water sources like Lake Erie.

"A couple of social scientists published an article in 1982 about a concept called the Broken Window Theory," he wrote. "The basic thought is that when people see that small crimes in a neighborhood (e.g., littering, graffiti, etc.), it sends a social signal that crime is normal/acceptable, making it more likely for people to commit larger crimes (e.g., robbery, assault, etc.)."

The man collected around 50 kitchen bags full of garbage during the expedition. He hopes to work with a local artist to create a piece of art out of some of the trash he collected.

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