Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

Enemies of Debris

We fight against debris and we are willing to get our hands dirty.

aka Detroit Mower Gang, Trash Fishing, Enemies of Debris   |   Troy, MI   |  http://www.EnemiesOfDebris.com

Mission

While other volunteer groups are “friends of”…(the river, the earth, your town, a park) we are different. Our focus is the fight against debris, against what has been left where it shouldn't be. We fight against leaving public places to fester and rot. We are the enemies of debris and we are willing to get our hands dirty. We are weird, fun, efficient, and unique. Presently our organization includes Detroit Mower Gang, Trash Fishing, and The Great American Pick Up Pick Up. We plan fun volunteer events that clean up trash and improve useful areas. We tackle abandoned parks, playgrounds, waterways, and city streets.

Ruling year info

2020

CEO/Director

Tom Nardone

Main address

352 Oliver Dr.

Troy, MI 48084 USA

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EIN

84-2209437

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We fight debris. Debris is our enemy. Things that are left behind and left to fester are what we battle. This can be trash in an overgrown playground, it can be the remnants in the street after a house is abandoned, or it can be trash that collects along the shores of The Detroit River. This is what we fight. Look outside, there is debris everywhere. It is worse in the poorest and the most industrialized communities. Detroit is both. Detroit has a debris problem and we are tackling it. The city of Detroit is 4 Billion square feet and we estimate that there are at least a million pounds of debris in the city. This is truly an insurmountable amount of trash littering our streets, fields, abandoned lots, and waterways. But just because an enemy cannot be defeated, does not mean we will give up.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Detroit Mower Gang

The Detroit Mower Gang mows and cleans abandoned parks and playgrounds so that kids have a place to play.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth (0-19 years)
K-12 (5-19 years)
Budget
$3,000

Trash Fishing is a new sport. We plan events where the challenge is to remove as much trash as possible from our rivers, lakes, and the ocean.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people
Children and youth (0-19 years)
Budget
$6,000

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

Our goal is to remove as much trash as possible from our community. We have identified the highest impact trash first. This trash is located in playgrounds, near schools, and in our waterways. We focus on removing this trash first. Our metric is to remove at least one pound of trash for every dollar we raise. In 2019 we removed 3,750 lbs. of trash with expenses of $1,425. In 2020 we hope to continue this efficiency.

The Enemies of Debris create fun and exciting events where volunteers are encouraged to remove as much trash as possible. We make trash removal a fun adventure. We encourage our volunteers to explore unusual places, to find trash other people will never find, and to remove it. We reward them with prestige, homemade trophies, donuts, and tacos. The Enemies of Debris use power tools to amplify our efforts. One of our projects, The Detroit Mower Gang uses leaf blowers and lawn tractors to clean up parks. Our Trash Fishing efforts use small fishing boats to catch trash, and our event The Great American Pick Up Pick Up has volunteers use their pick up trucks to find and remove trash from Detroit's streets. Horsepower is an effective way to make things happen. Financially, we are cheapskates. We spend money only where necessary. None of the Directors at Enemies of Debris receive any compensation for their efforts. We are a volunteer run organization. We also fix and repair our own equipment, drink cheap beer, eat cheap food, and don't expect much. Most of our members are middle-aged men who are successful in other ways. They do not want salaries, they do not want their expenses paid, and they already own the equipment required to clean up the city. It is hard to find more down-to-earth people than The Enemies of Debris.

Since 2010 The Detroit Mower Gang's volunteers have mowed and cared for abandoned playgrounds in Detroit. We have over 70 volunteers that own and are willing to use their lawn equipment for the common good. This is an incredible capability. Trash Fishing has had over 12 different people bring their own boats to help us collect trash. Why? Because it is a fun adventure to explore the nooks and crannies of The Detroit River and because our organization handles the difficult parts, like hauling all of the debris away at the end of the day. The Great American Pick Up Pick Up removed 8,000 lbs. of debris from our city in one day because our volunteers wanted to do it and because it was fun. The main capability of The Enemies of Debris is that we know how to make clean up events fun and interesting.

We have the following metrics for our efforts. The Detroit Mower Gang tracks: - The number of playgrounds we clean up - The number of pounds of trash we remove from the parks and playgrounds Trash Fishing tracks: - The number of pounds of debris we remove from our waterways The Great American Pick Up Pick Up tracks: - The number of pounds of debris we remove from public spaces.

Our Organization's progress is best summarized by breaking it down into our individual projects. Since 2010 The Detroit Mower Gang has: - Mowed, cleaned and kept in service over 30 parks - Conducted over 150 different park clean up events - Removed over 10,000 lbs. of trash from these playgrounds, school yards, and parks Since 2018 Trash Fishing has: - Conducted over a dozen Trash Fishing Contests - Removed over 9,000 lbs. of trash from our waterways. In 2020 We held the first ever Great American Pick Up Pick Up event: - 20 participating trucks removed 8,000 lbs. of trash from public spaces in Detroit. What's Next for The Enemies of Debris? - We will continue to have fun cleaning up our environment. - We will continue to spread the word about how much fun we are having and we will invite others to join us. - We will be fundraising wisely. - We will be spending frugally. - The amount of trash we remove and the low cost it requires us to do so will amaze you. - You will follow us on Facebook.com/EnemiesOfDebris

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is the organization collecting feedback?

    We regularly collect feedback through: community meetings/town halls, suggestion box/email, facebook pages for our projects.

  • How is the organization using feedback?

    We use feedback to: to identify and remedy poor client service experiences, to identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, to make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, to inform the development of new programs/projects, to identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, to strengthen relationships with the people we serve.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    We share feedback with: the people we serve, our staff, our board, our funders.

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to: we don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback.

  • What significant change resulted from feedback

    We serve a large area and the problems we address are everywhere. We clean and restore parks, playgrounds, and waterways. There is so much mess out there that we have to use feedback from the people we serve to determine what areas to work on first.

Financials

Enemies of Debris
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Enemies of Debris

Board of directors
as of 6/16/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Charles Spiess

Enemies of Debris

Term: 2019 -

Andrea Belen

PriveCo Inc.

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/11/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not Transgender (Cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/11/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.

Keywords

trash, debris, clean up, environment, environmental, trash removal, playgrounds, play, children, clean, beautification, environmental quality, restoration