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Survey: We have a litter problem
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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In February we asked a lot of questions and more than 400 people graciously took the time to answer. We distributed an attitude survey to gauge what people thought about litter here.
The major cleanup time of the year -- the Great American Cleanup -- seems like an appropriate time to share results from this study.

Do you think there is a litter problem in Liberty County?
Seventy-seven per cent of the respondents felt that there is. We can't fix it until we recognize that we have a problem.  Only 10 percent of those surveyed did not think there was a problem and 13 percent were unsure.  The next time you are driving around, take a look along the roads and you'll see how much litter is out there.  

Do you believe litter affects our quality of life?
Ninety-one percent wisely realized that litter does affect our quality of life. Litter affects our health, our safety, our enjoyment of green space and, lets certainly not forget, it affects our pocketbooks!

Do you believe littering costs taxpayers money?
Ninety-three percent understand the dollars and cents of this problem.  Litter costs all of us.Several hundred thousand dollars are spent by municipalities each year trying to keep the litter and debris picked up.  The Georgia Department of Transportation spends more than $14 million a year on cleanups on the interstate highways and state roads. Let me assure you, the tooth fairy is not taking care of these expenses.

Do you believe littering hurts our environment?
Ninety-nine percent understand the consequences of litter on land and waterways.

Do you think it is OK to litter every once in a while?
Now this not an easy question to answer truthfully, even on a written survey you might be handing back to a stranger.  Ninety-four per cent of those surveyed said "no."  Good answer!

Do you believe that littering is a crime?
Eighty-one percent believe littering is a crime, while 13 percent did not and six percent were unsure.  There are clear state laws and local ordinances that designate littering, illegal dumping and driving down the road in a vehicle with an unsecured load like a truck without a tarp and loose items or garbage bags in the back, as against the law.

Do you think that people who litter should be punished? What punishment?
Here are two more uneasy questions, especially when you might be an occasional litterer. Eighty-five percent felt that litter offenders should be punished. Forty-eight percent felt those convicted should be fined and perform community service. Eighteen percent thought fines would be appropriate punishment and 32 percent thought community service would be suitable.

Would you report littering if you saw it?
Fifty-eight percent felt they would report littering, while 27 percent said no and 15 percent were not sure.

Do you feel people are likely to get caught littering in Liberty County?
Sixty-four percent felt those who litter are less likely to get caught. Many know it is not easy for law enforcement to catch litterers without an eyewitness willing to attest to the crime.

Would you support stronger enforcement of our current litter laws? Should more be done to combat litter?
Eighty-six percent say they would support stronger enforcement and 86 percent felt more needed to be done.

So now lets get to work cleaning up this problem. Here are upcoming events for the Great American Cleanup that you can get involved in:
Through May: The Clean Community Challenge. Challenge others to join you and your group in making our community as clean as possible. The Litter Wars need you. Contact 368-4888 or for information.
Through May 31: Return the Warmth Plastics Recycling Contest. Support students by recycling your plastic bottles.
April 14-15: Earth Day Water Awareness Programs in Schools
April 19: Cleanup Day in Arlington Park Neighborhood
April 20: Earth Stewardship Church Bulletin. Inserts available for use in local churches. Call 368-4888 for more information.
April 22: Earth Day Go Green! Exhibits and second annual Earth Day Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Bradwell Park
April 26:  Litter "Throwdown" Hwy. 84 and More! Cleanup challenge 8:30 a.m.-noon. Challenging groups and businesses to clean up major corridors. Contact KLCB or any Kiwanis Club member for information.
May 3: City of Flemington Cleanup. Contact KLCB or any YALL student for information.
May 10: Community Recycle It! Fair 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Turn in electronics, paint, fluorescent light bulbs, phone books, and other household hazardous waste for recycling. We will also accept toys for reuse or recycling too.  Call 368 4888 for info.
May 15: City of Midway Cleanup 9 a.m.- noon

For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact Sara Ann Swida at 368-4888 or
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