Litter Prevention

Knowing More About Litter Is The First Step To A More Beautiful Midlands

When was the last time you saw someone littering? It may be hard to remember. But litter doesn't just appear -- it's a result of careless attitudes and improper waste handling. Is there anything you can do? Yes, and knowing more about litter and where it comes from is a good start!

Click here for litter fact sheets from Keep America Beautiful.

Click here for information about the most littered item in America - cigarette butts.

Why People Litter

Research by Keep America Beautiful indicates that people litter because:

  1. they feel no sense of ownership, even though areas such as parks, beaches and roads are public properties
  2. they believe someone else -- a park maintenance worker or highway worker -- will pick up after them
  3. they assume that because litter has already accumulated, their littering is not a problem.

Litter-Known Facts

Motorists and pedestrians are often blamed for litter. There are actually seven primary sources:

  1. Households due to improper handling of trash and it's placement on the curb for collection
  2. Dumpsters used by businesses
  3. Loading docks
  4. Construction and demolition sites
  5. Trucks with unsecured loads
  6. Pedestrians
  7. Motorists
You may be surprised to learn that pedestrians and motorists account for less than half of all litter - the other five sources account for between 50-80% of all litter.

Litter And Your Taxes

Litter is not only ugly -- it is costly! The SC Department of Transportation spends more than a million dollars and many hours annually picking up litter -- money and time needed for more important services. Local, state and federal governments also spend money removing litter left by careless park visitors. Clean communities also have a better chance of attracting new businesses than litter-filled communities.