While Sioux Falls never really received an official stay-at-home order, many citizens took it upon themselves to quarantine themselves, their family, and for many, their trash.

“Yeah, I got a huge pileup in the backyard. I had to cancel my trash and recycle service to save on some money while this whole thing was going on. I’m pretty excited to start it back up and empty it back into the Big Sioux River this weekend. I think the weather is supposed to be pretty nice, so it’s going to be just like the olden days. Our family makes it a whole ordeal, kinda like a holiday. We all gather around and throw our separate trash bags in at once, so everyone gets to watch!” said one local citizen.

The Big Sioux River is home to many trash bags and recycle bins, but as some citizens stayed inside and Smithfield shuttered, the Big Sioux began to clear up.

“We’ve been seeing the Big Sioux clear up substantially since this disease has shuttered plants, farms, and citizens from polluting our lovely river. Sadly, it’s good news so it doesn’t make it to the local newspapers or news stations. They only want what’s going wrong with the world, so they get viewers, which I understand. It would just be nice to get some good news in these troubling times!” said another local citizen we spoke with.

Efforts to keep the Big Sioux River clean have failed miserably over the past couple years, so some celebrated the disease keeping people home.

“I’m honestly pretty stoked this happened. Not the deaths, because that’s awful, but to see our namesake actually look like a waterfall and not a toxic foam sewer was a lovely sight. It really shows the potential our city has if we cleared up some toxic things that have transpired over the past couple of years. We’ll get there eventually! People will see just how much money the river can bring, and they’ll be coming here in droves!” said one local clean river advocate we spoke with.

Cans, bins, bags, or containers. Not the river.

The Sioux Falls Headliner
Adam K. White