MYTH: Littering creates jobs.
- FACT: Littering costs money. Last year taxpayers paid millions for roadside cleanup. Transportation Departments, Keep America Beautiful, Adopt a Highway programs spend millions amount to clean up only the worst areas — roads with high litter accumulation. The money could have been used to construct Roadside Rest Areas or Traveler Information Stops or to repair the State’s roads and bridges, hiring. Thousands of potholes could have been repaired with the money spent on litter clean up. Without it’s Adopt-A-Highway and volunteers, DOT estimates clean up would cost $50 million annually. Without the help of other agencies Alabama alone would spend over $50 Million Dollars
- FACT: Taxpayers pay for City, Counties, States, National Agencies, Forestry, Park and Recreation Departments, Prisons, Corporate clean ups. With all the combined, litter costs are in the Billions.
MYTH: No one notices litter.
- FACT: Litter destroys the beauty of a community. Tourism is an important part of any economy. People come from all over the world to the beauty of our countryside, towns and cities. When litter mars their enjoyment, cities, counties and businesses loses valuable tourist dollars.
- FACT: Studies suggest that neighborhoods that are heavily littered experience more vandalism and other crimes.
MYTH: Litter Control is not important.
- FACT: Litter affects everyone. Litter may not be the most dramatic or exciting of the many problems that threaten the quality of our environment but it is a problem which affects everyone in the community
MYTH: Only “certain types” of people litter.
- FACT: Litterbugs are everywhere! “Litterbugs” can be found among people of every age, sex, race and geographic location, and in every level of society.
- Age: 16-24 (now people age 16-24 are the target in Texas and nationwide)
- Eats fast food at least 2 nights/week.
- Goes out for nighttime entertainment at least 1/week.
- Drives >50 miles/day.
- Never been married
- 48% of all Americans admit to littering
MYTH: Littering only occurs when there is no Trash Can
- FACT: Most Littering occurs within 6 yards from a trash Can
MYTH: Litter doesn’t affect the economy.
- FACT: Litter discourages economic development. Litter impacts real estate values. Good stores and important businesses will not locate in a community which lacks the pride to effectively control litter.
MYTH: Litter doesn’t hurt anyone.
- FACT: Litter is a safety hazard. Litter is a breeding ground for fire and disease.
- FACT: Litter impacts car insurance rates because hundreds of thousands of auto accidents are litter-related.
- FACT: Ingesting litter causes injury or death to thousands of pets as well as wildlife and farm animals.
- FACT: Litter is a breeding ground for rats and disease-causing bacteria.
MYTH: Litter is just a visible thing
- FACT: Litter Finds it’s way into lakes, streams, oceans, groundwater
- FACT: Litter and Waste are partially responsible for the following: (From the EPA)
-50% of United States lakes are unfit for swimming and fishing
-40% of United States waterways are polluted
-35% of United States sewage ends up in marine waters
-218 million people in the United States live within 10 miles of a polluted river, lake, stream, or coastal area.
-The EPA estimates that at least a half-million cases of illness annually can be attributed to contaminate drinking water.
MYTH: Cigarette filters are biodegradable
- FACT: Filters can take up to 100 years to decompose
- FACT: [Cigarette butts] also present a threat to wildlife. Cigarette filters have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, whales and other marine creatures who mistake them for food … Composed of cellulose acetate, a form of plastic, cigarette butts can persist in the environment as long as other forms of plastic.”
- FACT: 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered each year.
- FACT: Cigarette smoke contains up to 4000 chemicals.
MYTH: Most Everything is Recycled now
- FACT: Beverage containers comprise 40-60% of litter. The Solid Waste Coordinators of Kentucky found that 58% of litter collected consisted of beverage containers, pull tabs, and closures.
- FACT: Curbside is still not available to 50% of the American population.
- FACT: Curbsides don’t address away-from-home consumption.
- FACT:Tripling of curbside access has not stemmed the tide of waste.
MYTH: None of my Friends litter
- FACT: 1/2 of litter is deliberate and 1/2 is caused by materials being “accidentally” lost from vehicles.
- FACT: Males do 72% of deliberate littering and are responsible for 96% of accidental littering.
- FACT: 69% of deliberate litterers were accompanied by one or more people.
- FACT:60% of deliberate littering is done by pedestrians and 40% is done by motorists.
- FACT: Composition of highway litter is as follows: 59% paper, 16% cans, 6% bottles, 6% plastic, 13% miscellaneous.
- FACT: One mile of highway contains approximately 16,000 pieces of litter (estimated cost of pickup is 30 cents per piece of litter)