Residents were sick of all the trash – so they dumped it at city hall

The trash had been sitting there for months, but officials couldn't decide on who should clean it up.
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A pile of trash is in downtown St. Paul after residents took cleanup efforts into their own hands.

The pile of garbage had been at 10th and Wacouta streets along Interstate 94 for at least four months, Erich Mische wrote on Facebook. He decided to organize a cleanup of the area after city and state officials couldn't decide which agency was responsible for cleaning up the area, KSTP reports.

The Pioneer Press explains the city was hesitant to send people to the makeshift dump because the land was technically owned by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Efforts by officials had moved forward in recent days, with city officials telling the paper the cleanup could happen as soon as April 5.

But Mische and others beat them to it. It took three adults and two kids 2 1/2 hours to clean up the trash, Mische wrote.

They filled 50-75 bags of garbage, KSTP reports, noting some were dropped off at the dump.

And the other bags were brought to city hall, with Mische writing on Facebook: "If city hall won't come to the garbage… The garbage will come to city hall." The trash was cleaned up outside of city hall within a few hours, Mische says.

KSTP notes Mische could be fined for illegal dumping.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman addressed the pile of trash in a series of tweets Monday afternoon, calling the garbage piled up "unacceptable" and saying it doesn't meet the city's standards.

Coleman also thanked Mische and the others who helped clean up the area, noting the Minnesota Department of Transportation was going to clean it up on Monday, but it didn't happen soon enough.

The City of St. Paul will be holding a citywide spring cleanup on April 22.

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