'Trash Hero of Uptown' looks to clean up Minneapolis

Henry LaBounta moved to Minneapolis from California three years ago and was almost immediately surprised by the amount of trash in his East Isles neighborhood. Today, he’s inspiring neighbors to participate in regular trash pick-ups.

"It just makes the neighborhood nicer," he said. "Why not have clean neighborhoods and keep trash out of the lakes and rivers? It's not that hard to do."

LaBounta says he walks daily, bringing his trash picker and bucket with him. To date, he says he’s collected nearly 6,000 gallons of trash and 160 syringes.

"Maybe people will see what I’m doing and be motivated to do it in their neighborhood," he said.

A large group of neighbors join the trash pick-up every second Saturday of the month at 9:30 a.m. Thanks in part to a $5,000 grant from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, he’s been handing out trash pickers.

He was recently honored with the "Unsung Caretaker Award" from Minnesota Organization Upstream.

LaBounta and his trash efforts can be followed on the Friends of Lake of the Isles Facebook page.