The Waycross Police Department would like to remind the citizens of Waycross that there are laws in place to prevent littering and asks that everyone do their part to prevent litter in our community. The following information was taken from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs’ Keep Georgia Beautiful program.
Litter Prevention Basics
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs' Keep Georgia Beautiful program plays a key role in preventing littering along Georgia's highways and in the state's public places. Keep Georgia Beautiful is a state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc. and works closely with Georgia's local Keep America Beautiful affiliates. Together, these organizations have delivered an anti-littering message to Georgians for more than 25 years.
Did You Know?
• Much of littering is accidental. For example, it flies out of truck beds or blows away from trash set at the curb for pickup.
• Many types of roadside trash take years, if not hundreds of years, to disintegrate.
• The Georgia Department of Transportation spends about $17 million annually to clean up roadside trash in the state, and local governments spend hundreds of thousands to keep litter off of 89,000 miles of locally-maintained roads.
• Litter detracts from our state's beauty, decreases property values and, over time, could affect Georgia's multi-billion dollar tourism industry.
• Abandoned tires, left to collect water, breed mosquitoes and vermin increasing the health risks to surrounding neighborhoods.
What is Litter?
According to Keep America Beautiful, litter is misplaced solid waste. That includes paper, cigarette butts, illegal signs, abandoned cars, old tires, furniture, appliances and any other items that are not disposed of properly.
Why Do People Litter?
In a three-year research project, Keep America Beautiful, Inc. found that people litter for one of three reasons. They feel it's ok to litter:
• Where they feel no sense of ownership for the property.
• Where someone else will clean up after them.
• Where litter has already accumulated.
Where Does It Come From?
Although motorists and pedestrians are most often blamed for litter, Keep America Beautiful, Inc. identified seven sources that contribute to the problem. They are:
• Commercial refuse sources, including dumpsters
• Household trash handling
• Construction/demolition sites
• Uncovered vehicles
• Loading docks
From these sources, litter is carried in every direction by wind, water, and traffic. It moves until trapped by a curb, wall, fence, a row of trees, a building, or other stationary object. Once trapped, litter becomes not only an eyesore, but also an invitation for people to add more. In addition, litter finds its way down storm drains and into our water ways, harming wildlife and water quality.
The Cost of Litter
Littering is a costly problem. City, county, and state highway departments spend millions of dollars and many hours each year cleaning up litter - money and time that could be used for other services. Cleaner communities also have a better chance of attracting new businesses than those where litter is common.
For more information, contact Community Relations Officer Jessica McIntosh at the Waycross Police Department 287-2931 – or visit the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Keep Georgia Beautiful website.
§ 16-7-43 - Littering public or private property or waters; enforcing personnel- Fine:$180.63