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Mississippi Ave Graffiti Cleanup

Our March Litter Pickup and our May Spring Cleanup were big successes, and made big improvements in making our neighborhood "clean and green"! Now, we're taking it to the next level.

Graffiti cleanups are a combined effort t by City-contracted graffiti removal crews and community volunteers. We will be focusing mainly on the sidewalk trash cans, but also directional signs and private property (with permission).

All supplies will be provided by the Graffiti Abatement Program, this includes a soy-based cleaner called SoyClean, some green scrubbies, gloves, a window scraper for stickers called slap tags which show up a lot, a water spray bottle to give it a spritz after scrubbing, and some really durable paper towels to wipe down the remnants. 

For the public trash cans on sidewalks: This will entail pulling out the rigid plastic liners in the cement cans, taking out any trash in between them, power-washing the cement cans to remove graffiti and dirt, and taking an inventory assessment of which cans need replacement liners or tops, or need to be taken offline. The Rebuilding Center is going to help us move cans to more optimal locations and upcycle them into planters eventually.

8:00 am Graffiti Abatement Team arrives and sets up
We provide refreshments, like donuts, croissants, muffins, fruit, juice and COFFEE. We invite folks have breakfast beforehand at around 8:30 – 8:45 so that we can give a quick orientation and overview of routes. 
9:00am – 12:00pm Cleanup

"Why is this necessary, and why are volunteers necessary?" You may be wondering. "Doesn't the City take care of that, or something?" I've heard people say.

It's because the trash cans on Mississippi are owned as a shared resource, but no one is responsible for maintaining them. (This is what is known as a tragedy of the commons.) They were originally created and paid for by a coalition of local organizations (about 12 years ago), and for a time, businesses kept them clean, and Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods provided insurance. Cloudburst Recycling has been doing free trash hauling once a week for that entire time. But over the years, this maintenance plan and awareness of shared responsibility has been lost.

It's obvious that Mississippi has now outgrown it's current cans - now requiring twice weekly pickups (like Alberta Street has) because of heavy use. We also need a newer kind of outer shell with a smarter design so that can liners can be picked up much easier by the haulers (the current ones are awkwardly tall and lack handles), and a recycling component area to separate returnable aluminum cans and glass bottles. But this is a longer-term solution, and our trash cans are gross NOW, and in summer time they are used the most. We need to make them last a little bit longer. And we need to raise awareness that the trash on our street is a shared responsibility of all neighbors, business owners, and people who just care about making our street clean and livable. Williams Ave. and Mississippi Ave business associations are interested in working together, along with our neighborhood association, to come up with a plan to fund and design new cans - but that will take some time.
Questions? Concerns? Email Katy Wolf (Boise Neighborhood Association, Sustainable Mississippi) at or call 208-870-2446.

RSVP here:

Earlier Event: October 13
General BNA neighborhood meeting