‘Adopt One Block’ initiative aims to make Portland ‘cleaner and happier’

Portland

2,500 people signed to clean a block of Portland per week

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — When it comes to cleaning up the city, some Portlanders are taking matters into their own hands.

Adopt One Block started seven months ago and has already garnered 2,500 volunteers all over Portland.

Margo Howell holds up a bag full of cigarette butts she collected within a one block radius of a Southwest Portland Safeway. April 20, 2021 (KOIN).

Volunteers can sign up online and receive free clean-up supplies through the program.

Block Ambassadors, as they’re called, are asked to clean up their designated section once per week, but it’s all-self paced with no strict meet up times.

“Adopt One Block has reimagined the way we make our city cleaner and happier. We enable people to love and care for the block they love the most when and how they want, with clean up supplies that we deliver for free,” said Frank Moscow, Adopt One Block’s founder.

Thanks to the program, a three-by-three block radius near a Safeway in Southwest Portland has been kept clean from the continued effort of about 10 volunteers who all live in the same nearby Eliot condominium building. Moscow said he believes it is now the cleanest area of downtown Portland.

Volunteers dispose of trash at Southwest Portland block. April 20, 2021 (KOIN).

When KOIN 6 News caught up to some of the volunteers Tuesday, they had collected over a half gallon of cigarette butts within a half hour in the block surrounding the Safeway store.

Volunteer Margo Howell said she sends the cigarette butts she collects to a company, TerraCycle, that recycles them into park benches.

“We want to make it clean and safe for businesses to come back and for people who live here to get out and walk around and be able to have fun and feel safe. So anything that we can do in that direction is a step in the right direction,” she said.

To adopt a block, simply sign up at adoptoneblock.org.

A bag of cigarettes collected as part of ‘Adopt One Block’ clean up initiative. April 20, 2021 (KOIN).

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