York “Punks” fixing city streets through trash clean-up

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YORK, Pa. -- Look past their tattoos, piercings, and loud music; Steve Klinedinst and Dustin Hildebrand might be the change York needs. They just happen to be "punks."

The two friends run "Punks for Positivity," a non-profit group based in York which meets every week, picking up trash along city streets. They met while both working third shift at their respective jobs, and through a mutual love of punk rock music and the city of York, Steve and Dustin took to the streets every Monday morning during the winter picking trash off the ground.

"The more I would pick up trash, the more I would notice how much there is," says Klinedinst, of Spring Garden Township." Klinedinst's arms are covered in tattoos. His ear lobes are pierced with dime-sized rings, and his jeans are ripped. Hildebrand doesn't have any piercings or tattoos, but comes to Sunday's work with a dark, scraggly bears and camouflaged shorts. "You can't judge a book by its cover," Klinedinst says.

"Punk for me is having a passion for something and standing up for that passion," Hildebrand adds. "Obviously that passion is the city. So, we’re standing up for our city. Trying to make it better. Trying to change the negative view it has."

In April, their unofficial trash pick-up turned into a grassroots organization. Punks For Positivity formed, and attracts multiple volunteers each week.

"It's not everyone else's responsibility to pick up the trash. I live here," Klinedinst said. "I would like to live in a nice clean area."

Their clean-up on this most recent Sunday led to nearly a dozen bags of trash. "Mostly cigarettes, chicken bones, and bottles," says Klinedinst. It's dirty work, but these punks have no issue in doing the dirty work.

For more information on Punks For Positivity, visit their webpage: www.punksforpositvity.com.