Trash talk with Nico Swalley

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — You just never know who you are going to meet on the streets of Sioux Falls.

Thursday my wife tagged me in a post; a video showing a young man carrying two trash bags along Minnesota Avenue. She said, ‘you should see what the story is behind this?’

So I did, and I’m glad I did.

“My car is in the shop, whenever I have to go to work, I walk down Minnesota,” Nico Swalley said.

You should never judge a book by its cover….

“I recently moved up here, like a year ago,” Swalley said.

…..and you definitely shouldn’t judge 21-year-old Nico Swalley either, until you’ve walked in his shoes.

Swalley, who was homeless twice and had a rough upbringing, says he moved here from Rapid City to try and better himself.

He walks this route every day to work; 22 blocks one way.

But recently he decided to start picking up other people’s trash.

“It just bothered me, I see trash all the time,” Swalley said. “Today I found vapes, broken, um I found a needle I think it was used, I’m not sure.”

Swalley says he loves Sioux Falls and he just wants it to be clean and safe for everyone.

“I didn’t want to touch it anymore than I had to, because with that thing it’s kind of contaminated and it’s dirty, but we can’t leave those lying around we have little kids walking on the sidewalks,” Swalley said.

Swalley says there’s so much negativity in the world right now, so he wants to spread a little positivity.

“I’ve always been this way, if I can help out, I’m going to help out,”

As Rico can attest to, sometimes in life things just fall apart, including his glasses.

“…sorry my bad, my glasses,” Swalley said.

But you don’t need glasses to see the impact he’s having on people.

“They’re just like ‘good job I’m glad you’re doing it,’ to me it just seems like the basic thing to do, you should have the urge to clean up your earth, like this is the place where we live and like do we want to ruin it, no,” Swalley said. “I’m just trying to make the world a better place anyway I can.”

Swalley works overnights now at a local convenience store and now has his own apartment.

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