Research and experience have shown that litter is the result of individual behavior – choosing to litter or being careless in the handling of waste. And once litter is on the ground, it attracts more litter. A clean community, by contrast, can discourage littering and improve community appearance and quality of life.
You have a role to play in preventing litter. It takes just one person, one school, one business, one organization to positively impact the behavior of others in their community. Here are some things to keep in mind when considering the impact of litter on our community:
Over 51 billion pieces of litter land on U.S. roadways each year. Most of it, 46.6 billion pieces, is less than four inches, according to KAB’s 2009 National Visible Litter Survey and Litter Cost Study. That’s 6,729 items per mile.
Litter cleanup costs the U.S. almost $11.5 billion each year, with businesses paying $9.1 billion. Governments, schools, and other organizations pick up the remainder.
Community economy and quality of life suffer. The presence of litter in a community takes a toll on quality of life, property values, and housing prices. KAB’s 2009 National Visible Litter Survey and Litter Cost Study found that litter in a community decreases property values 7%.
Litter has environmental consequences. Wind and weather, traffic, and animals move litter into gutters, lawns and landscaped areas, alleyways, and parking structures. Debris may be carried by storm drains into local waterways, with potential for serious environmental contamination.
So Please Remember to Pick Up After Yourself!