Make Ottumwa Shine

FALL CLEAN UP – September 21-28

Fall clean up week is September 21-28.  Its a week-long campaign to clean up and beautify Ottumwa.  Volunteer grime-fighters are asked to adopt areas of the city that need sprucing up.  We supply special clean up bags and gloves for volunteers.   Want to adopt an area to beautify?  Call 641-683-0685 to adopt your spot!   Free cleanup bags and gloves are available at the Recycling Center at 2415 Emma Street, just off highway 34 East, across the highway from Cargill Meat Solutions or at the City of Ottumwa Health Department on the second floor of City Hall, 105 E. Third.   Volunteers can call the Health Department or Recycling Center to get bags picked up.

Check out our list of places that need some TLC!

For 2015, the Ottumwa City Council approved two changes to Ottumwa’s City Code relating to public nuisances.   The first is amending the maximum allowable height for grass from 12 inches to 10 inches.   The second would prohibit regular parking in the front yard and add construction requirements for new residential driveways.   We believe that these changes will help improve the appearance of neighborhoods across the city.

Our famous Purple trash bags are available at the Recycling Center and City Hall year round if you feel need to clean up someplace in town.   We supply purple trash bags and gloves – families, organizations, neighborhood groups and businesses all pitch in to SHINE UP an area.  When the purple bags are filled, call 641-683-0685 and the bags will be collected.

Keeping the business districts in Ottumwa clean is vital to Making Ottumwa Shine. These areas of our community are the most visited by Ottumwans, and our out of town guests.   We are asking property owners to help all year by picking up cigarette butts and other small trash, pulling weeds from sidewalks and green spaces, and keeping sidewalks and curbs swept and clear of debris.    See our call to action flyer.

Make Ottumwa Shine Week was held April 26 to May 2.   Volunteers from around the community rolled up their sleeves, adopted clean up sites and pitched in to make Ottumwa a cleaner place.   Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make the Make Ottumwa Shine Clean Up Week a success.   Over 60 volunteers adopted 25 areas around the city and made them shine!

Together these folks we have made Ottumwa a cleaner place –  Amy & Connie Hazelwood ~ Bob Taylor ~ Vickie from Burger King ~ Dave Cecil ~ Jennifer Findley ~ John & Sylvia Hunolt ~ Juanita Zavala ~ Matt & Melanie Dalbey ~ Noon Lions ~ Michael Schafer ~ Mike Gullett ~ Nancy Emanuel ~ The Bishop Family ~ The Frisbie Family ~ The Hanson Family ~ The Stokes Family ~ Davis Street Christian Church Youth Group ~ AARP ~ Al Exito Latino Mentoring Program ~ Albia Road Baptist Church ~ Douma School Students ~ First Resources ~ Girl Scout Troops 912/1038 ~ Gooden Family Chiropractic Clinic ~ Hampton Inn Employees ~ Horace Mann 5th Grade ~ IHCC ~ John Deere Employees ~ Lighthouse Plaza ~ McCune and Reed ~ ORHC Admin, HR and Marketing ~ QSI ~ Schumacher Elevator ~ SIEDA Community Action Group ~ South Ottumwa Savings Bank ~ TPA ~ Trinity Lutheran Church ~ Job Corps.





Shine On!

Make Ottumwa Shine is a volunteer driven community clean up program. Our mission is to empower Ottumwans to make our community clean and attractive.

We fight litter and urban blight one purple trash bag at a time. Many of our volunteers make fighting litter a year-round activity in their own neighborhood.

If you have an area you want to adopt - a street, park, trail, or stream, call us at
We can help with materials and resources.