Texas is known for doing everything big – big skies, big dreams, and unfortunately, BIG DIRT. In a recent study by LawnStarter, some surprising findings have come to light, putting two of Texas’s largest cities among the top ten filthiest in the United States.

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The Study That Spilled the Dirt



LawnStarter, a reputable lawn care provider, took on the hefty task of evaluating over 150 of the largest U.S. cities. Their criteria included pollution levels, living conditions, infrastructure, and resident satisfaction. They compiled data from several federal agencies, such as the CDC, Census Bureau, Department of Energy, and EPA, to ensure a comprehensive overview.

The study didn't just skim the surface; it dug deep, revealing some unsettling truths about urban cleanliness. Pollution and living conditions were major factors, but so were resident complaints about infrastructure and general satisfaction with their environment.

A Statewide Concern


Get It Together, Texas

Texas, known for its massive energy consumption, finds itself at the center of this dirty dilemma. According to KXAN, more than half of the state’s energy consumption stems from the industrial sector, including refineries and petrochemical plants. The EPA even stepped in last April, mandating that chemical plants along the Gulf Coast reduce toxic air pollution to safeguard public health.

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The Top 20 Dirtiest Cities

So, who made the list? Without further ado, here are the top 20 dirtiest cities in the U.S.:

  1. Houston, Texas
  2. Newark, New Jersey
  3. San Bernardino, California
  4. Detroit, Michigan
  5. Jersey City, New Jersey
  6. Bakersfield, California
  7. San Antonio, Texas
  8. Fresno, California
  9. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  10. Yonkers, New York
  11. Shreveport, Louisiana
  12. New York, New York
  13. Birmingham, Alabama
  14. Ontario, California
  15. Los Angeles, California
  16. Modesto, California
  17. Palmdale, California
  18. Hollywood, Florida
  19. Las Vegas, Nevada
  20. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Texas’s Troubling Spots



Houston snagged the top spot due to high pollution levels, significant cockroach problems, and greenhouse gas emissions from large industrial plants. A report from Grist in 2022 highlighted that some of Houston’s petrochemical facilities severely violated EPA safety guidelines.


Kinda Gross

San Antonio, another Texan heavyweight, ranked seventh. Despite these issues, some Houstonians report higher satisfaction with their city’s cleanliness compared to residents in 33 other large cities.

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Looking Forward

With such rankings, Texas cities face a clear mandate: it's time to clean up their act. Residents and local authorities must collaborate to address these issues, aiming for a future where the Lone Star State shines bright and clean.

13 Things in Texans' Homes That are Very Dirty

We expect our homes to be clean spaces, but some items and places in them are germ-prone.

7 Unbelievable Dirty Office Spaces

Imagine you get the phone call you've been waiting for, we're opening back up, everyone can head back to work. Now, as we all know, there have probably been some things that have been left unattended. Like office desks, keyboards, and telephones just to list a few. I know personally, when I was away from the office, the only thing I kept clean was the space I was living in. Now that some people are back to work there are a few places you might want to keep clean, not only for yourself but if you have a home business that requires you to entertain clients, their eyes can spot things that you probably didn't think that some people even pay attention to, like some of the things in this gallery.

Gallery Credit: DJ Hassan

Dirty Jobs Around the Country

Gallery Credit: Kolby Fedore, TSM

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