Earth Day: Crews clean the Inner Loop

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ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — For several hours on Friday, the Inner Loop was closed to traffic so that crews from both the state, and the city’s DOT could collect, and dispose of the trash that had been collecting all along the 1.4-mile expressway between seasons.

News10NBC was out there for part of the clean-up, and find out about Friday’s "Trash Blitz."

The Inner Loop is starting to look a bit cleaner today as the city, and state recognizes Earth Day. Cleaning the Inner Loop is not only a priority, it’s also about cleaning the entire city.

"We want to make this look as good as possible as we start to head into spring, and summer," said City of Rochester Commissioner of Environmental Services Rich Perrin.

With heavy-duty garbage bags in hand and a stick grabber to pick up trash, DOT crews were spread out all along the Inner Loop for a much-needed clean-up.

"As the weather starts to break you know vegetation hasn’t grown in, the snow has melted, the trash is more apparent. That happens every year so that’s why we do what we’re doing today," said DOT Spokesperson Joe Leathersich.

Just over two weeks ago News10NBC grabbed some video to show you just how much trash is on both sides of the roadway.

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Friday we asked Perrin exactly where is all this trash coming from? their trucks, or the from the community?

"Our refuse trucks are designed so when they pick up trash, and the like, they’re moving it’s not coming off of there. It’s really just a function of some people being irresponsible, and allowing their garbage hit the streets where it doesn’t belong," said Perrin.

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Leathersich said this is also a perfect time to roll out their "Trash Blitz," and the message behind it.

"We feel it’s a good time to get out there and remind folks to be mindful of their community. You know it’s one thing we want to do as part of today’s, get the message out that it really takes all of us to clean up the roadways. Keep the roadways clean," Leathersich said.

As the clean-up of the loop continues over the next several months, the city also has a beautification initiative which Perrin said has two elements.

"The subtractive which is where we get rid of the litter, and graffiti as well as the additive which is where we’re going to add in trees. We started that last week on Friday with the mayor planting some trees, and our crews are going out to plant approximately 400 trees, as well as community gardens," Perrin said.

On May 7, more than 1,000 Rochesterians will help clean up neighborhoods throughout the city during its annual "Clean Sweep" event. There’s still time to sign up and participate.

Gates also got cleaned up when the town gave its employees the choice to work their regular job or go outside and work to make Gates a more beautiful place.

Gates Police Chief Rob Long said a lot of them chose the latter, and some even brought their kids.

Community volunteers were also welcome to join the effort.