Pollution, excess trash, and dilapidated buildings aren't problems exclusive to one city, but some have it worse than others. The popular website LawnStarter looked at the dirtiest cities in America via a wide variety of metrics. One major city in Iowa managed not only to make the list but crack the top five as one of the cleanest cities in the country!

Indeed, Des Moines, IA ranked #4 on LawnStarter's list of cleanest cities in America, behind only Norfolk (Virginia), Sunnyvale (California), and Virginia Beach (Virginia). It was the only Iowa city to rank on both the list of cleanest and dirtiest cities, respectively, so the Hawkeye State is at least absolved of any unflattering distinctions!

Photo Credit: LawnStarter
Photo Credit: LawnStarter

LawnStarter looked at a handful of metrics in order to determine their rankings. Those included:

  • Pollution
  • Living Conditions
  • Infrastructure
  • Consumer Satisfaction

Across the board, Des Moines ranked #137, #143, #127, and #128 in those categories, respectively. Keep in mind, it's better to rank lower than higher in this case, as the lower you're ranked, the cleaner your city is.

As for the dirtiest city in America, that dubious honor went to Houston, TX, which scored low marks across the board, the worst being their pollution ranking (#3). Newark, NJ and San Bernardino, CA were not far behind Houston in being billed as one of the dirtiest cities in America

As for Illinois and Wisconsin cities, Chicago placed 96 (out of 150) on the list, with particular attention drawn to its low pollution rate. Milwaukee, on the other hand, ranked 68 on the list, on the upper half of a list where being ranked lower is ultimately what you want.

View the full list of the dirtiest and cleanest cities in America on LawnStarter's website!

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Iowa

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Iowa using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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