Here Are Cleanest, Dirtiest Cities in US

Virginia Beach wins LawnStarter's seal of approval; Houston, not so much
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2023 10:00 AM CST
This US City Could Use a Cleanup
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Alfa Studio)

Living in a big city definitely has its perks—but litter, polluted air, and (gulp) rodents aren't among them. LawnStarter looked at more than 150 of the nation's largest cities to suss out the cleanest and dirtiest ones, analyzing metrics in four main categories: pollution (e.g., water and air quality, greenhouse gas emissions); living conditions, meaning such factors as population density and share of homes with mold, mice or rats, and cockroaches; infrastructure (think the tonnage of waste in landfills, number of junkyards, and alternative-fuel stations); and consumer satisfaction, meaning how satisfied residents were with the pollution, garbage disposal, and greenery situations, among others. The website found that Virginia Beach was the cleanest of the group, while Houston came in last. Here, the other top 10 US cities on both the dirty and clean lists:

Dirtiest Cities

  1. Houston
  2. Newark, New Jersey
  3. San Bernardino, California (worst in "Pollution," "Consumer Satisfaction" categories)
  4. Detroit
  5. Jersey City, New Jersey
  6. Bakersfield, California
  7. San Antonio, Texas
  8. Fresno, California
  9. Oklahoma City
  10. Yonkers, New York

Cleanest Cities

  1. Roseville, California
  2. Greensboro, North Carolina
  3. Huntsville, Alabama
  4. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  5. Buffalo, New York
  6. Fremont, California
  7. Des Moines, Iowa
  8. Norfolk, Virginia
  9. Sunnyvale, California
  10. Virginia Beach, Virginia
See how other cities fared here. (Check out the most beautiful skylines in America.)

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