Normally Rachelle Dowell cleans hotel rooms, but yesterday she applied her cleaning skills to downtown streets.

“It’s a very clean area but there are a lot of cigarette butts,” said Dowell while she worked on Lower Water Street. “It’s actually kind of disgusting.”

Twenty-eight teams of 180 volunteers picked up garbage during the 16th Annual Clean Sweep event hosted by the Downtown Halifax Business Commission. Overall, teams picked up 58 bags worth of garbage, 29 bags of recycling, and nine bags of compost. This year’s Most Unusual Garbage Item award went to the Aon Reed Stenhouse Inc. team for finding a matching pair of plastic skull candleholders.

“I found a metal pipe and a balloon from last summer with stuff in it,” said Dowell, who works at Delta Barrington.

And all the cigarette butts made her want to quit smoking, she added.

Trish Patten with Cambridge Suites dressed up by wearing a plastic bag and pop cans attached to her clothes.

“I just want to promote that we recycle and get everyone enthusiastic about it. I just look forward to this event every year,” she said.

“I’m proud of our city. When our guests come and our tourists come I want it to be clean.”

She said it’s encouraging that she found less garbage than last year.