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'Plogging' fitness craze comes to Cleveland, group hopes to clean up littered streets

Cleveland is newest area to be hit by #trashtag trend
Posted at 4:52 PM, Mar 26, 2019

CLEVELAND — Have you ever heard of plogging?

It is a fitness craze that began in Sweden and spread to nearly every continent. Now, it’s coming to Cleveland.

It’s easy — jogging while picking up trash, combining the environment and exercise. The word is a combination of the Swedish phrase 'plocka upp,' meaning pick up, and jogging.

“We’re just hoping to make a spectacle out of it so people say, ‘Why are you doing this?’ and hopefully, ‘How can I get involved?’” said Allison Lukacsy-Love, one of the organizers of the newly-created Cleveland Plogs.

For now, they are focusing on the Collinwood neighborhood in Cleveland. Other "plogging" groups are popping up on the West Side as well. Lukacsy-Love said they are working with city leaders, council members, community and youth groups to get everyone involved.

"And to really say, trash is a problem that we should all be dealing with and here’s a sort of unique way to get involved and make the community better," she said.

It ties into the viral #trashtag challenge that’s taking over social media as well, with groups of people who go out and clean up litter — then post photos of themselves with filled trash bags.

As News 5 has previously reported, Cleveland has a chronic litter problem. The director of public works, Michael Cox, has admitted that the $3 million in taxpayer dollars spent on clean up every year is not enough.

Cleveland Plogs first event is Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Those interested should meet in the Waterloo Arts District in Cleveland. There is a 2-mile route planned, and participants can walk, jog, or run at their own pace.

Events are planned for every last Wednesday of the month through October.

This story is part of A Better Land, an ongoing series that investigates Northeast Ohio's deep-seated systemic problems. Additionally, it puts a spotlight on the community heroes fighting for positive change in Cleveland and throughout the region. If you have an idea for A Better Land story, tell us here.