#Trashtag challenge encourages Elgin residents to clean their community

Juan Castillo, Social Media Manager

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A trend has been spreading on social media since the beginning of 2019. The #trashtag has allowed people to take it upon themselves to clean up areas of their community where litter has taken over. They then share before and after photos on social media to display to everyone the vast difference and encourage others to do the same.

“I don’t use social media a lot, but I’ve still seen stuff about the challenge,” said Sam Irigoyen, a second-year student. “I think it’s great and such a good way for people to use social media.”

With the city of Elgin declaring April as Earth month, some of the city’s citizens have stepped up to the plate and taken on the challenge themselves. Various people have cleaned up parts of the city and posted the results on social media. They showed off the numerous garbage bags full of trash that they collected once they finished cleaning up all the litter people had left behind.

Many other Elgin residents encouraged the posters for their participation in the challenge and thanked them for assisting in cleaning up the city.

“If you are involved in a neighborhood [or] area clean up, contact 311 and the city will provide garbage bags,” said Molly Center, the city of Elgin’s Communication Manager, in a Facebook post. “Staff will also pick up those bags so you don’t need to worry about hauling them anywhere. Beautifying our city is a community effort.”

The challenge seems to be a positive change for people on social media. Unlike some past social media challenges, the #trashtag challenge is encouraging people to take action by not only picking up litter and showing their hard work off on social media, but it also makes others think twice before they decide to simply drop a piece of trash from out of their window.

With the environment currently being such an important issue to many people, this challenge has taken off and gone viral, and it shows no sign of slowing down.

“With how much trash is in our oceans, it’s very motivating to see these posts and makes me want to go out and make a difference,” Irigoyen said.

With earth day fast approaching this month, it is very likely that people will continue to participate and post their involvement online to encourage others to help keep local communities like Elgin clean and litter free.