At least two or three times a week, I find myself walking the streets of downtown Billings. I've also worked downtown for a good while. There's always one thing that I know I'll see when I go outside; trash. There's always trash in the streets, be it cigarette butts, candy wrappers, old fast food cups, or even paper masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This has always boggled my mind, considering the prominent amount of trash cans downtown.

Credit: Trent Flager - Townsquare Media

Why do people litter so much?

Honestly, the answer to this question is quite vague. It could be any number of reasons, from the relatively low fines to the fact that nobody seems to get in trouble for it anyway. However, downtown trashcans are everywhere, so if someone's walking around downtown, there should not be any excuse for it. The only thing that's lacking are ashtrays, so cigarettes are hard to dispose of regardless.

Credit: Downtown Billings Purple People on Facebook; Used with permission
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What can be done about this?

The easiest thing to do is to just not litter. However, there is a group of folks in Billings who are dedicated to cleaning up our streets downtown. The Business Improvement District (BID) Street Team is one such group. Known online as the BID Purple People, they are a group of three men who go around the downtown area sweeping trash, cleaning graffiti, and watering plants on a daily basis. If you'd like more information on their project, check out Joe, James, and Adam on Facebook at the Downtown Billings Purple People.

Getting to Know Billings From A to Z

New to Billings or not, the Magic City may look like an industrial town from the freeway, but take any exit and you'll discover a city with idiosyncrasies and a whole lot of Montana personality.

Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic: