BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A much-needed cleanup took place behind the iconic Arch Social Club in Baltimore. It’s an area that has seen its fair share of illegal dumping.

The youth-led effort was organized by the Arch Social Community Network, Challenge 2 Change and WIN Waste Innovations.

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“It’s our responsibility to come out as a community and put in work to make sure our community is clean,” said Jahi Faw, with the Arch Social Community Network.

But it’s more than just keeping the city clean, it’s about teaching the youth important lessons.

“I’m a firm believer that when you show these kids something different, they will do something different,” said Terry Williams with Challenge 2 Change.

The young adults that volunteered Saturday are proof that theory works, as they take ownership of the community, hoping to make a positive impact.

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“I feel great. I feel like I accomplished something,” Taray Smith said.

“We need to help our community, and we need to fix it because, you know how community is – There’s just trash everywhere,” said a volunteer named Derrick. “So we need to come together and try to make it better.”

WIN Waste will convert this trash into energy. Williams said it’s the perfect analogy for the young people putting in work to make a change.

“When we look at our kids in this generation, we often times consider them as waste but we want them to them to learn… that they can take that same thing that they call waste and turn it into energy and become amazing young children for the city,” Williams said.

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The group hold these cleanups multiple times a week. They often work with the city leaders to find out parts of the city that need to be cleaned.

Sean Streicher