ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A couple is fed up with seeing trash all over the city. They claim the problem is becoming extreme in their Taylor Ranch neighborhood and now, they’re doing something about it.
“A lot of food product things, a lot of cups, yesterday there was a lot of candy wrappers because it was Halloween,” said John Norwalk, a Taylor Ranch resident.
Those are the types of things John and Kathy Norwalk find on their daily walks. The Norwalks have lived in Albuquerque since the ’80s, and Kathy says over the years the city has gone from a clean city to a city covered in garbage.
After writing letters to the city about the garbage problem, they decided to be the change they want to see.
“It was bothering me when I’d take my daily walks so I just decided instead of living with it, I’d just go ahead and pick it up,” said Kathy Norwalk.
So every day, the couple chooses a new route to walk in their Taylor Ranch neighborhood. Along the way, they fill a grocery bag with whatever trash they find. John even gets into the arroyos if he sees litter.
It’s not glamorous. John’s shoes often covered in goat heads after trudging through the brush. But they say if it’ll make the city cleaner, it’s worth it.
In response to their effort, the city says neighborhoods can register with the Solid Waste Department for two neighborhood cleanups each year. The Department of Metropolitan Development is responsible for the arroyos.
“General maintenance is about once a year per arroyo itself. On occasion we’ll go out twice a year, or if 311 calls, we’ll dispatch crews out there,” said Patrick Montoya, the director of DMD.
The city says arroyo maintenance includes picking up trash, pulling weeds, blading, and even graffiti clean up. This past year, 74 neighborhoods participated in the Solid Waste Departments cleanups.