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Little Litter Adds Up: What's Up With People Littering?

image of litter in storm drainWhat is litter?

That’s an easy one. Litter is trash that’s not where it belongs. Instead of being in a trashcan or dumpster, recycling bin or a landfill, it’s on the ground, in waterways or blowing in the air.

Where does it come from? 

People! Litter comes from people who do not properly dispose and store trash at home, at work, and at play. Litter comes from business trash collection areas, loading docks and construction and demolition sites. Litter also comes from trucks with uncovered loads, pedestrians and motorists.

Why do people litter?

  • They believe it’s okay to litter where there is no sense of ownership, e.g., public areas such as parks, streets, highways, theaters, etc.
  • They believe someone else will pick up after them (same areas as #1).
  • They believe it’s okay because litter is already there.

What is wrong with litter?

image of bird trapped in a plastic bagIt’s ugly, expensive, illegal, and dangerous. Neighborhoods with litter usually have lower property values and higher crime rates than lesser-littered neighborhoods. It costs extra money to clean up litter. There are laws against littering – and fines to pay if a litterbug is caught!  Animals can choke on litter or get injured by litter. People can be injured by litter (like broken glass) in parks and on beaches. Blowing litter can cause auto accidents.

 

Wow! That's Serious Stuff. What can I do about litter?

Set an example an NEVER LITTER! Carry a litterbag in your vehicle. Make sure trashcans have tight-fitting lids and keep them closed! Don’t overfill your trashcans or put out loose trash in boxes. Tie papers in bundles or place heavy items on them when putting them out for recycling collection. Report areas where you see illegally dumped garbage and debris. Adopt-A-Spot or Adopt-A-School and keep it clean and beautiful. To participate in your community or for more information call Keep Denver Beautiful at 311 (720-913-1311).

 

No Butts About It... Little Litter Adds Up!

No Butts poster | The Earth is not your Ashtray - Keep our Earth Clean

Contact TeamStein for more information on the above picture and the national "No Butts About It" Campaign.