What makes a city “clean” or “dirty”? Is it the amount of trash on the streets? How about how a city generally smells? Sightings of mice, rats, and other gross pests scattering around? (Yikes.) 

Surprisingly, one city in New York State does pretty well when it comes to these factors, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that it sometimes smells like Cheerios.

LawnStarter recently compiled a list of 2023’s Dirtiest Cities In America. They looked at over 150 major cities across the United States, using publicly available data to rank them in categories like pollution, living conditions, and the number of landfills and junkyards in the area. 

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A few cities and metros across New York State made the cut, and some of their results were eye-opening. Honestly, you probably won’t be surprised by the dirtiest city in New York, but you may be shocked at which city was named the most pristine.

Buffalo, New York Named The Cleanest City In New York State

Their research led them to declare Buffalo, New York the 6th cleanest city in America, as well as the cleanest city in New York State. 

Other cities named in their study was Syracuse, New York, which came in as the 40th cleanest city, followed by Rochester at number 72.

New York City Subway Station

Unsurprisingly, New York City was near the top of the list of “dirty” cities, ranking the 12th dirtiest. Above them on the list was Yonkers, New York, which cracked the top ten.

Here’s Why Buffalo Is One Of The Cleanest Cities In The US

Does this surprise you?

If you’re shocked Buffalo was ranked so high, especially with the amount of dirty-looking snow covering our streets and sidewalks in the winter, consider some of the factors used to determine Buffalo’s squeaky cleanliness.

Delaware Park Buffalo

Buffalo scored incredibly high numbers when it came to pollution (like air and water quality), living conditions (homes without kitchens/plumbing and signs of pests), and overall consumer satisfaction in the state of the city.

Dirty Cities Cost New York Taxpayers Millions

“Dirty” cities aren’t just gross to live in for their residents. Millions of taxpayer dollars are spent yearly in the grimiest cities to clean up their mess. (For example, San Francisco, which finished in the top 100 dirtiest cities in LawnStarter’s list, spent over $72 million in 2019 to clean its streets.)

Even if you disagree with LawnStarter’s findings about Buffalo’s cleanliness, you have to admit when you look at the data that we’ve really got it much better than a lot of other cities across the country - and New York State.

The 10 Cleanest Cities In America according to LawnStarter

  1. Virginia Beach, VA
  2. Sunnyvale, CA
  3. Norfolk, VA
  4. Des Moines, IA
  5. Fremont, CA
  6. Buffalo, NY
  7. Winston-Salem, NC
  8. Huntsville, AL
  9. Greensboro, NC
  10. Roseville, CA

The 10 Dirtiest Cities In America according to LawnStarter

  1. Houston, TX
  2. Newark, NJ
  3. San Bernadino, 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

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