Street Cleanup

Earth Day volunteers and businesses take to the street, pitch in, and help keep our community clean! Twice each year, HeightsNEXT and the Columbia Heights LIONS pick up garbage along Central Avenue, University Avenue, and in several of our city parks.


We try to coordinate, but each organization may have different dates. Check with the Columbia Heights LIONS Club for University Avenue cleanup dates.

Spring (Earth Day)

April 23, 2022 @ 9am-10:30am




John P. Murzyn Hall
530 Mill St NE
Columbia Heights, MN 55421

Meet in the front parking on Mill Street.

Murzyn Hall
Map of Columbia Heights, MN showing street cleanup routes with Central Avenue highlighted for HeightsNEXT, and University Avenue highlighted for the LIONS Club

HeightsNEXT volunteers pick up litter along Central Avenue and nearby parks.

Columbia Heights LIONS pick up litter along University Avenue and nearby parks.

How it works

Volunteers dress for the weather and bring their own:

  • Gloves
  • Sturdy footwear

HeightsNEXT supplies:

  • Safety vests
  • Reaching tools
  • Collection bags
Street cleanup gear, including work gloves, work boots, a high visibility safety vest, yellow trash bags, garbage picker stick, and a grabbing tool.

Volunteers work in teams, and are assigned a section of their route (typically a few blocks). Each team works both sides of the street, picking up garbage. Almost none of the garbage is recyclable, so everything collected goes into same bags. Pay special attention to storm drains, keeping them clear of garbage and debris.

Safety First

Volunteers should stay off the roads, and be highly visible to moving traffic. Use reaching tools to clear storm drains and collect large items from gutters. Alternatively, families or groups with children can be assigned to a local park instead of a road.

Businesses clean their own property and parking lots. Volunteers clean up the boulevards, sidewalks, bus stops, and other public spaces. The city is responsible for roads, shoulders, and gutters.

Illustration of street cleanup responsibilities showing that volunteers cover boulevards, sidewalks, and public property. The city street sweeper is responsible for the street and gutter. Businesses are responsible for their property and parking lots.

Full bags of recycling and garbage are left on the nearby street corners. Later, HeightsNEXT will collect the bags for disposal.

What gets picked up in a street cleanup?

Along Central Avenue NE, the majority of the garbage is vehicle collision debris, usually pieces of glass, plastic, or metal. A large number of facemasks are frequently found along city streets. The most difficult garbage to collect is tobacco products and fast food packaging, including small wrappers, plastic bottle caps, condiment packets, straws, and cigarette butts. Volunteers often compare rare items they find, sometimes including such oddities as a broken bicycle or even an entire vacuum cleaner.

What You’ll Get

Heights Bakery

We’ll have delicious donuts for all volunteers provided in partnership with the Columbia Heights LIONS.

Everyone is Welcome!

Bring your:

  • Sports team
  • Scout troop
  • Faith group
  • Nonprofit
  • Book club
  • Co-workers
  • Neighbors

… or just come on your own. Many hands make light work!

Contact the event coordinator:

Rachel James
Rachel James

Let us know how many are in your group.

The City of Columbia Heights
City of Columbia Heights
Dairy Queen
Dairy Queen