Metro woman takes to social media to help keep KC’s sidewalks clean

KANSAS CITY, Mo -- A Kansas City woman is keeping the city's sidewalks clean, one Facebook post at a time.

Olivia Clanton lives in the West Plaza area and noticed lots of broken glass on the sidewalks near her home. She asked her neighbors for help finding other trouble areas through social media so she could clean them up. She called herself the West Plaza Neighborhood Glass Sweep.

"I was actually walking my dog, and there was a huge pile of glass in the side walk, which happens a lot. And it got a little too close and I had to grab him back," Clanton said. "And it makes me mad, and I know it makes a lot of people mad."

Olivia Clanton

Rather than complain about the problem, Clanton took action. Since her initial post, Clanton received about three broken glass locations. She also brings a small broom and dustpan when she walks her dog.

"It takes just a couple minutes, and in a world where there is so many problems that you might feel like you need to face, just doing something really simple can do something," Clanton said.

KC Water runs the city’s Street Sweeping program. They clean up the streets -- but not the sidewalks.

"It is part of the homeowner’s responsibility from the curb and back to the home," said Derek Villareal, utilities supervisor for storm water preventative maintenance.

That maintenance requirement is a city ordinance. Villareal said property owners cleaning up their sidewalks is crucial because the glass and other things that are on the side walk and end up in the water system when it rains.

"It’s important to keep the debris from going down into the storm drains," Villareal said. "What happens is, it goes into a combined sewer system, and it tends to cause flooding."

Safety, prevention and protection: Whether it’s from flooding or from glass on the sidewalks, those are Clanton’s reasons for pounding the pavement with her broom in hand.

"That’s the goal," Clanton said. "I think it is, especially, it’s not just me doing that post that is changing things, it’s my neighbors seeing how ridiculous it is that there’s glass everywhere. And hopefully they are also thinking about those things and what they can do themselves."

KC Water wants to remind you if there’s glass or debris on your sidewalk – do not sweep it into the streets.That’s considered illegal dumping and you could be fined.