Volunteers help Southwest Detroit coalition clean up littered whippet canisters

Southwest Detroit Whippet Wipeout Campaign Coalition formed in 2019 to address nitrous oxide abuse

A coalition of community leaders and volunteers gathered to clean up whippet containers in Southwest Detroit.

DETROIT – Community leaders, organizations and volunteers gathered on Saturday to clear whippet canisters from the streets of Southwest Detroit.

The Southwest Detroit Whippet Wipeout Campaign Coalition joined forces with other community organizations, businesses, leaders and allies to dispose of littered canisters in an effort to help clean up the neighborhood and address the rise in nitrous oxide, or whippets, abuse.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 26, the group was out in full force, clearing trash from the neighborhood. The empty containers will be dropped off for safe storage and disposal at Cadillac Urban Gardens, officials said.

See footage from the Saturday cleanup in the video player above.

Since forming it 2019, the coalition has been collecting and disposing of empty canisters from local parks and streets. The abuse of whippets can result in serious and negative health implications.

“As a community, we have a growing concern about the volume of whippets being abused by residents who are breathing in nitrous oxide from a whipped cream dispenser to get high,” said Frank Venegas Jr, The Ideal Group Chairman and CEO, back in 2020. “This behavior can be incredibly dangerous -- and even fatal in some instances -- and creates a public safety issue when thousands of empty cartridges are littered in our streets and parking lots. The small cartridges get in our tires and cause flats and blow-outs and is a danger to pedestrians, cyclists and those traveling on scooters. We formed this coalition to engage and educate our community about the public health and safety issues that are created by using whippets.”

Learn more: Coalition launches ‘Southwest Detroit Whippet Wipe Out Campaign’ to address abuse of nitrous oxide

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.