Somebody made me really mad on Islands Highway this week. Nothing makes volunteers madder than having someone spew litter all over a road right after a volunteer cleanup.
You would not believe how many calls and texts I got from volunteers that someone could be so careless and so dense. Litter is ugly and nasty and it can cause serious health and safety issues. Whether you litter on purpose or because you are thoughtless, it does not matter, it hurts our community and our environment.
Here are 10 tips for fighting litter:
1. Set an example by not littering. Carry a litter bag in your car and hang on to litter until you find a garbage can. Parents, set an example for your children. Children, set an example for your parents.
2. Pick up one piece of litter every day. Particularly pick up litter around storm drains. Anything going in these goes directly to our waterways.
3. Remind others of proper ways to dispose of litter.
4. Make sure your trash cans have good-fitting lids so litter cannot blow out. If you drive garbage or recyclables to convenience centers, secure the containers. Use a tarp on your truck, which by the way, is also the law.
5. Ask your neighbors to join you in cleaning up one area where litter accumulates. "Adopting" an area can help reduce litter because people litter less in clean areas.
6. Encourage groups that you support to become involved in cleanup and recycling projects. Have your group "adopt a spot."
7. Look for ways to beautify your neighborhood. Neighborhoods that are maintained are littered less and are usually safer.
8. Make sure there are appropriately placed containers for garbage at work. Make sure that designated smoking areas have receptacles for cigarette butts, too. Also at work, set up containers for recyclables, like plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper and cardboard.
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. 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 wrappers, cans and bottles. Don’t just throw them on the ground.
We can all make a difference throughout our community.
To find out more about fighting litter, contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Swida is the director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.