Freeport women take it upon themselves to clean litter from streets

Local News

FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO) — A group of women in Freeport have taken it upon themselves to pick up trash along the city’s roadways.

“We all have a litter pet peeve,” said Sharon Koch, who, along with a group of friends who call themselves The Pretzel Pickers, are picking up trash and properly disposing of it.

Freeport is known as “The Pretzel City” because of a popular German bakery that operated there in 1850’s.

Koch’s efforts grew from the Greater Freeport Partnership’s “Spring Clean Up” week in April.

“It felt so good to keep going when we saw people joining us, and we felt like we were making a difference,” she said.

Volunteer Kathy Wilken joined Koch’s effort. “It doesn’t take much to do,” she said. “I mean, I have this handy-dandy picker, but you don’t have to use it. You can do without.”

Wilken said glass objects, such as liquor bottles, are the most common thing found on the side of roads.

Annie Mason, another volunteer, says her love of Freeport motivated her to help with the clean up effort.

“We want to take pride in our neighborhoods. That’s why we’re here, and why we’re campaigning for a better and more attractive environment,” Mason said.

While the all-female crew is serious about trash clean up, they say they also know how to have fun.

“It makes it so much more fun to be with these crazy people,” Koch said.

The City of Freeport operates street sweepers with a rotating schedule.

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