OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — As of 11 p.m. Monday night, it is now illegal to light off fireworks across the metro.
Now the focus shifts to cleaning up what’s been left behind.
The best practice is to begin that clean up process the night of. However, most cleanup doesn't start until the morning after.
Sometimes it can be too late. For example, the rain we had Monday morning likely washed fireworks from Sunday into the storm drains.
That could happen again Tuesday night with likely storms coming our way.
This can cause water pollution to rivers and lakes and harm water ecosystems. It also serves as a reminder to not wash debris down the storm drains on your street.
Firework debris even left in yards or streets can put people at risk as well.
"Fireworks contain some harmful, and sometimes toxic, chemicals and compounds,” Keep Omaha Beautiful Communications & Development Coordinator Maddy Wahl said. “When they're left behind in the streets, or public areas like the grass or a park, those chemicals and compounds can actually cause harm to people, animals, and our environment."
Trash and dumpster fires took place Monday across the metro because fireworks weren't disposed of properly. For more information on the proper way to dispose of fireworks, click here.
When cleaning up a day late, Wahl says to wear gloves, use a broom if necessary, and place used fireworks in a sealed plastic bag.
While everyone should be responsible for their own fireworks it is a community effort.
"It's going to be helpful for our community as a whole and our urban environment to pick up after ourselves,” Wahl said. “Whether that's you cleaning up your own fireworks event, or walking around your neighborhood, wearing gloves, and just picking up a few pieces of litter as you find them.">
Keep Omaha Beautiful is hosting a cleanup at Hanscom Park Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. For more information on that cleanup or to sign up, click here.