Detroit needs volunteers for 'Motor City Makeover'

A big cleanup will soon get underway in Detroit, but they need some help.
A big cleanup will soon get underway in Detroit, but they need some help.

DETROIT – Mayor Mike Duggan on Tuesday kicked off Motor City Makeover by calling on residents, community organizations, business owners and students to join the effort to clean the city during the first three Saturdays in May.

This year, the city will be cleaned by district.  Districts 1, and 2 will be cleaned on May 2; Districts 3, 4, and 5 will be cleaned on May 9; and Districts 6 and 7 will be cleaned on May 16.  

Residents, business owners, houses of worship, block clubs, and schools are encouraged to:

  • Register online at www.motorcitymakeover.org or call (313) 224-4415 to join the effort.
  • Clean the area around their home, business, house of worship, or school on the Saturday designated for their sector.
  • Organize their neighborhoods or their employees for a massive group cleanup.  On the online registration form, volunteers can designate a nearby area to clean-up, or call (313) 224-4415 for a location.
  • Beautify their area by planting flowers, plants, or trees, or by removing graffiti, etc.


Motor City Makeover is a bagged litter campaign.  Individuals and community groups must register with the City of Detroit Department of Neighborhoods (DON) in order to receive a limited supply of bags and gloves, as well as information regarding special pickups of bagged litter and roll-off containers.   Bagged litter will only be collected from pre-established locations.       


"Thanks to the hard work of community volunteers, sponsors, the Department of Neighborhoods team and our DPW workers, our city is becoming noticeably cleaner," Mayor Duggan said. "Motor City Makeover is a great example of what we can accomplish by working together.


Last year, more than 7,800 volunteers participated in the annual event, representing 300 community groups and block clubs across the city. Volunteers picked up 189 tons of garbage.  Since last year's Motor City Makeover, City DPW workers have removed 18,000 tons of illegal dumping at thousands of sites across the city.


During last year's effort, sponsors donated 90 dumpsters and other in-kind supplies and cash totaling $86,000.  This year's title sponsors are Advanced Disposal, Alta Equipment, Republic Services of Michigan and Rizzo Environmental Services.

Volunteers who need gloves and bags are asked to contact their local District Manager or call the Motor City Makeover hotline: 313-224-4415. Registered groups will be informed of the date that supplies will be available for pick-up.  Residents or organizations needing a location to clean up or beautify should call the hotline.


The scheduled cleanup dates and locations to pick-up supplies are as follows:

Saturday, May 2

District 1 

Crowell Recreation Center, 16630 Lahser

District 2

Northwest Activities Center, 18100 Meyers


Saturday, May 16

District 6

Patton Recreation Center, 2301 Woodmere

District 7

Adams Butzel Recreation Complex, 10500 Lyndon

Saturday, May 9

District 3 

Farwell Recreation Center , 2781 E. Outer Drive

District 4

Warren-Conner Development Coalition, 4401 Conner

District 5

Recycle Here! 1331 Holden

Butzel Family Center, 7737 Kercheval


In addition, volunteers may take bagged litter to any of the five drop-off locations listed below, which will be open on the three Saturday cleanup dates.

Bulk Drop-Off Locations:  Limit is one cubic yard or 1,000 pounds

Davison Yard - 8221 West Davison, 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Closed 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Southfield Yard - 12255 Southfield Road, 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Closed 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.)

5840 Anthon between Cavalry and Campbell, 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Closed 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.)

State Fair Yard - 19715 John R, 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Closed 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.)

J. Fons Transfer Station - 6451 E. McNichols, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.  (Closed noon – 1 p.m.)