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Neighbors clean up fireworks debris littering KC Parks

Posted at 4:45 PM, Jul 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-05 18:48:57-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo — Fireworks lit up the Fourth of July sky Thursday in celebration of Independence Day, but there was less revelry the next day as hundreds of people cleaned up the mess left behind in Kansas City, Missouri, parks.

Many of the KCMO Parks and Recreation Department's 221 parks were littered with fireworks debris.

"We shut down all other jobs that we’re doing and we just pick up trash today," KC Parks Area Superintendent Louis Cummings said.

It's one of the busiest days of the year, according to Cummings, because of the sheer amount of trash they have to pick up. He estimates around 100 volunteers and employees will be out today and throughout the weekend with a trash-pickers.

"People are going to come out and enjoy the parks through the fireworks, but, of course, we would love for them to pick up after themselves," Cummings said.

The fireworks debris alarms local environmental groups, because they said toxic chemicals from the explosive cans pollute nearby waterways.

"Those firework remnants have various metals in them," Red Bridge Community Recycling Center Manager for Bridging the Gap John Fish said. "That’s what produces the colors that you love as well as the explosive residue that make them go bang."

Fish urged people not recycle any fireworks or fireworks paterial, because of the toxic nature of them. He said to just put them in the trash.

After strong storms disrupted many fireworks shows Thursday, Cummings expected more trash to be created this weekend as people continue shooting off leftover fireworks.