Make Ottumwa Shine

Ottumwa’s annual spring clean up will be the week of April 26 to May 2.  Go to Event Page.   Ottumwa needs everyone to pitch in!   We’re looking for volunteers from all corners of the City to adopt an area and give it some TLC!    Together we can make Ottumwa a cleaner place.     Remember, Make Ottumwa Shine is 100% volunteer driven … we need everyone’s help!

The Ottumwa City Council recently 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 May 12-17, 2014.  Volunteers from around the community rolled up their sleeves, adopted clean up sites and pitched in to make Ottumwa a cleaner place.   Free Landfill Day was held Saturday, May 17th with great community participation at the Landfill, Recycling Center and drop off site in downtown Ottumwa.

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!





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.