Dallas Among Dirtiest Cities in Country


A trash can overflows with bottles and cans | Image by Nicole Glass Photography, Shutterstock

A list of 2023’s dirtiest cities in America was released by LawnStarter, and six Texas cities are among the top 50, including two ranked in the top 10.

Houston lands at the top, Dallas takes the No. 32 spot on the dishonorable list, and Fort Worth checks in at No. 40. 

LawnStarter looked at the 200 biggest U.S. cities and gathered publicly available data on four categories: Pollution, Living Conditions, Infrastructure, and Consumer Satisfaction.

It calculated weighted scores for each city in each category and averaged the scores across all categories for each city. Forty-eight cities did not have sufficient data for a fair comparison, resulting in a final list of 152 cities.

The city that earned the highest average score was ranked “Dirtiest” (No. 1), while the city with the lowest was ranked “Cleanest” (No. 152).

Houston took the top spot by being the third most “polluted.”

Houston also has the biggest cockroach problem, according to the Census Bureau. Still, Houston residents’ satisfaction with the city’s cleanliness was higher than 33 other cities, including Fort Worth, which is No. 32 in the consumer satisfaction rank. 

Here are the top 10 dirtiest cities in the U.S., according to LawnStarter:

  1. Houston, TX
  2. Newark, NJ
  3. San Bernardino, CA
  4. Detroit, MI
  5. Jersey City, NJ
  6. Bakersfield, CA
  7. San Antonio, TX
  8. Fresno, CA
  9. Oklahoma City, OK
  10. Yonkers, NY

The other Texas cities ranked in the top 50 are El Paso (No. 29), Dallas (No. 32), Amarillo (No. 35), and Fort Worth (No. 40).

Dallas grabbed the No. 32 spot by ranking No. 18 in pollution, No. 59 in living conditions, No. 48 in infrastructure, and No. 54 in consumer satisfaction. 

Recently, Dallas announced it was considering giving some residents refunds after their trash was not picked up by the city for a month, causing some trash cans to overflow in the street, as reported by The Dallas Express.

A recent video also showed an apparent drug den within Dallas city limits. The Dallas Express went out to inspect this alleged open-air drug den and found that the area was filled with trash and other discarded items.

Dallas’ Director of Sanitation Jay Council provided The Dallas Express with the following statement on his reaction to LawnStarter’s list:

“Dallas is one of the 10 most populous cities in the United States,” said Council. “Addressing the ranking made by a business blog redirects focus away from the work Dallas City leaders and departments make (sic) to address the environmental concerns that all major metropolitan cities face.

“The City of Dallas is dedicated to providing a clean and healthy environment for its residents as laid out in Dallas’ Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP),” Council added. “The Department of Sanitation Services continues its mission to operate a clean, green, and efficient integrated solid waste management system for the residents of Dallas while supporting the City’s vision to achieve a sustainable future.”

The Dallas Express also reached out to the offices of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner for their reaction to the rankings. Neither has responded as of this time. 

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1 month ago

Dallas has become a huge garbage dump. Perhaps we should gather all this trash and haul it to City Hall where the Mayor can enjoy looking at it?

1 month ago

Doesn’t; surprise me that the mayors have not responded to your request. It is sad though that they are not being responsive. I always thought Houston was Dirty Now I know my view was correct. Dalals I have also felt is not very clean. Size should not make any difference we deserve better on our cities being clean.

1 month ago

Welcome to the Liberal’s City of the Future! Trash, homeless vagrants on every corner, illegal immigrants wandering the streets, out of control crime, drug dealers and drug users everywhere. Oh, and we need more taxpayer money, so you will have to pay us higher taxes to do NOTHING about these problems. All good reasons to move away from Dallas as fast as we can.

1 month ago

Philadelphia also. A place near Holy Cross Cemetery. Cities or towns in MD near DC. Saw on YouTube posted by Nick Johnson, majority of big cities in America are ghettos.

Lay Monk Jeffery
Lay Monk Jeffery
1 month ago

The sanitation department does their part in littering our city. I watch them drop trash or walk past it in our alleyways and do not even bother to pick it up. They destroy residents property and do nothing about it. People toss trash out their windows and not a single person does anything about it. Bulk trash pick up is a joke! The sanitation department is second to the homeless when it comes to litter on our streets. As for them contacting you to fix things, good luck, they would not even come to my door, instead they called me from there service truck in front of my home, offered up empty promises then hung up on me. They will not reply to text either. Yes our city has a problem and it starts with the city employees. We pay taxes and it stops right there, we get nothing in return!

Bill Waller
Bill Waller
1 month ago

“Dallas is one of the 10 most populous cities in the United States,” said Council.

What’s size got to do with being dirtiest? Poor excuse!