Pick it up, Lexington!

What's on the ground is in our water, so it's important for everyone to do their part to protect local streams. Picking up pet waste and litter are quick and easy ways to keep stormwater pollution from reaching storm drains and creeks. 

Pick up pet waste

When pet waste is left on lawns, trails or sidewalks, rain washes it into the city’s storm drains that lead straight to our local streams. Pet waste can harm water quality:

  • Decomposing pet waste uses up oxygen that fish and plants need.
  • Pet waste encourages algae to grow in streams.
  • Pet waste contains bacteria and parasites that can be harmful to people and animal.


What can I do to help?

  • Always pick up your pet’s waste.
  • Carry a plastic bag when walking your pet so that you can dispose of pet waste properly.  Some parks have pet waste stations with bags and trash cans that you can use.
  • Pet waste should be bagged and put in the green trash cart, not the blue recycling cart or the gray yard waste cart.
  • DO NOT use pet waste as a garden fertilizer.

Pick up litter

Rain can wash litter from parking lots, streets, parks and more into storm drains and on into local creeks. The water that enters storm drains isn’t cleaned. That’s why it’s important that only rain goes down the drain. The city provides Creek Sweep kits with bags and gloves that you can use on walks or keep in your car to clean up while you are out and about. You can request Creek Sweep kits or supplies for a larger cleanup by emailing LiveGreen@LexingtonKY.gov.  

Though some litter is deliberate, there are many other sources that people don’t always consider. Help prevent unintentional litter with these simple steps:

  • Always bag your trash. This keeps it from flying everywhere on collection day. (Note: Never bag recycling.)
  • Place your trash, recycling and yard waste carts with the handles facing your house and the opening toward the street. That keeps the lid out of the way when the truck empties the carts, which keeps material from bouncing off the lid and into the street.
  • If you have a pickup truck, never put loose material in the back where it will blow out.
  • Don’t overfill trash cans in public spaces and at events.

It takes all of us to help keep Lexington clean!