Cleaning up illegal dumping across Kansas City is an expensive job, with a price tag around $2 million a year. One program designed to help the city with all that heavy lifting is suspended.
Through the Adopt-a-Street Program, residents, businesses and civic groups signed agreements to keep at least one mile of a public street clean for three years. Per those agreements, the volunteers had to pick up litter four times a year.
But in 2016, adoptions were put on hold because there was no money left to pay for the program, which is funded by the Department of Justice. A new grant for $26,000 is currently tied up in D.C.
"What that pays for is administrative costs so we can keep track of all the groups that do sign up, stay in contact with them to make sure they are participating and keeping with their obligation, and then it covers signage," KCMO Neighborhoods & Housing Services Spokesman John Baccala explained.
He added there's no telling when they'll be able to restart the program, but in the meantime, there are other ways to help.
For instance, the Blue Bag Program provides trash bags to neighborhood and civic groups at no cost.
Earlier this month Southeast High School seniors picked up 70 blue bags of trash along Bannister Road.
Neighborhood groups registered with the city can also take advantage of the Dumpster Program, through which they can obtain the receptacles at a reduced cost.
It means you can still put in a hard day's work to help the city, even if you don't get a sign.
"I think they take a little pride in seeing their names up there and seeing the sign up there, but honestly you should have civic pride anyway, whether we have a sign up for you or not," Baccala said.