Fireworks Viewers Leave Local Parks Littered with Trash

Updated: 07/06/2013 1:03 PM By: Stephen Tellier

Thousands viewed Thursday night's fireworks displays from that perfect spot in their favorite park. Then they all went home, leaving a massive mess in their wake.
The day after Independence Day might be the biggest cleanup day of the year. If the 4th is about fireworks, the 5th is about filth.
"Nobody cleaned up after themselves," said Stephanie Harris, who went to Lake Calhoun to barbecue on Friday.
"It's really kind of despicable," one park worker said.
On the day after Independence Day, it's as if the trash cans at Lake Calhoun had been fireworks themselves, exploding rubbish all around them -- and then waiting for park workers to come clean it up.
"Mostly beer bottles, mostly food residuals -- lots of gross stuff," the park worker said.
Lots of weird stuff too, like a folding chair, some perfectly good charcoal, or an entire grill.
"The picnic table we're sitting at was covered in cupcakes and raw meat packets all over -- everywhere," Harris said.
Harris cleaned that up herself in a few minutes. Park crews were cleaning up all day long.
"It took park workers just two hours to completely fill an enormous dumpster with trash. They then filled two smaller dumpsters nearly overflowing with trash -- all of it from just the Thomas Beach area of Lake Calhoun.
"Our crews are out today working hard, and whatever isn't done by today will be done by this weekend," said Robin Smothers with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
Smothers said 150 city workers were bagging trash at 200 parks on Friday, making tons of debris disappear to the dumpster.
"For all those early morning runners, by Sunday, you won't know the 4th of July ever happened," Smothers said.
Harris just wishes it happened with a little less litter.
"We went out and grilled at a lake and cleaned up after ourselves," Harris said.