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Ten tips to prevent litter

Keep Liberty County Beautiful

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POSTED: June 23, 2007 5:06 a.m.
During the three months of the Great American Cleanup, 408 volunteers shared 1,735 hours of their time to improve our world.
This band of volunteers cleaned up 11.81 tons of litter and debris, planted 148 plants and trees, collected more than nine tons of electronics to recycle, collected almost 12 tons of scrap tires to recycle, and more than two tons of household hazardous materials and other items to recycle or reuse. Just think: If less than one percent of our population can do that much, what would happen if all of us committed time to making a difference?
We can all do something to make the world — our world — a cleaner and brighter place to live. There are many ways each of us can help make our community cleaner all year long. Here are Top Ten Tips for Preventing Litter from Keep America Beautiful (with just a little bit of tweaking by me):
1. Set an example by not littering. Carry a litter bag in your car and hang on to litter until you find a garbage receptacle. Parents: set an example for your children. Children: set an example for your parents.
2. Pick up one piece of litter every day.
3. Share with others — your family, your neighbors, your co-workers — the proper ways to dispose of litter.
4. Make sure your trash cans have good-fitting lids so litter cannot fall or blow out. If you transport garbage or recyclable items to area convenience centers for disposal, make sure that your bags and containers are secure in your vehicle. More than 60 percent of our local litter problem is caused by litter from unsecured loads. You can make a difference just by using a tarp on your truck. By the way, it is also the law.
5. Ask your neighbors to join you in cleaning up one area in your community where litter accumulates. “Adopting” that area can help reduce the amount of litter because people do litter less in areas that are maintained.
6. Encourage groups — civic clubs, youth groups, sports teams and church groups — that you and your family members support to become involved in cleanup and recycling projects. Have your group “adopt a spot” and maintain it on a regular basis.
7. Look for ways to beautify your neighborhood and community. Neighborhoods that are maintained and attractive are littered less and research shows that they are usually safer, too.
8. In your workplace make sure that there are an adequate number of appropriately placed containers for garbage disposal. Make sure that designated smoking areas have receptacles for cigarette butts, too. Cigarette butts can take from two to 20 years to decompose. They are also a disgusting litter problem. I also have a limited number of free plastic cigarette butt ashtrays for smokers who will use them. Call 368-4888. In your workplace consider setting up recycling containers for recyclable items, like plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper and cardboard. Also make sure that the tops and side doors of business dumpsters are closed properly so that litter cannot fall or blow out.
9. If you own or work with a construction or hauling business, make sure that trucks are covered when transporting materials from one site to another. Make sure that an adequate number of garbage containers are accessible for workers. Use fencing around construction and demolition sites to prevent debris from being blown into other areas or properties.
10. At community and sports events, look for containers to dispose of snack wrappers and drink containers. Don’t just throw them on the ground. Where did we ever get the idea that that is OK?
We can all make a difference at home, at work, and throughout our community. Count the ways that you can make change happen here in Liberty County.

Upcoming KLCB events:
Oct. 20 (tentative) Rivers Alive Cleanups in Liberty County Mark your calendar now!

For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact Swida at 368-4888 or klcb@coastalnow.net.
 

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