Areas most likely to be littered fall into four categories: special event venues, roadways and highways, high traffic and everyday locations and transition points.
Special Event Venues such as concerts, carnivals and other special events attract a large number of people who will generate waste. The larger the event, the more waste it typically creates. Simple steps can help reduce event waste and litter:
- Involve event planners and vendors in having a “waste wise/litter free” event
- Post signs with antilittering messages for all attendees.
- Plan ahead to assure that the number of waste and recycling receptacles matches the potential volume of waste.
- Place volunteers near receptacles to guide participants to proper waste disposal.
Roadways and Highways as well as highway on/off ramps and roadway median strips have increasingly become the target of litterers. The recent census reports that people spent more and more hours in the car every day. People are snacking, smoking and eating their meals while traveling by car.
Car litterbags are needed. And, when these are full, they should be emptied in a trash receptacle.
Smokers must use a car ashtray and/or a portable or pocket ashtray to dispose of these cigarettes, lighting material and butts.
All businesses appealing to clients who drive should encourage their customers to dispose of trash properly.
Signage, messages on consumable products’ packaging and distribution of car litterbags is needed.
Businesses like food vendors, convenience store owners, auto dealerships and auto rental agencies need to help their customers do the right thing, to be responsible for proper disposal of trash and waste.
High Traffic and Everyday Locations are fast food businesses and deli’s, convenience stores, picnic grounds, park benches and other high pedestrian traffic areas. Every community has businesses selling consumable products that generate packaging waste. And, every community has benches in parks as well as seating at bus stops and picnic areas where people will congregate. These spots need properly maintained ash/trash receptacles nearby that are easily identified. The receptacles need to be maintained and serviced regularly.
Transition Points are the places where someone stops eating, drinking or smoking before they proceed. A Transition Point may be the entrance to a public building, an office, a retail establishment, a train platform or bus stop. Individuals may drop items and create litter before they move into a building, onto a bus or into the train.
At Transition Points, strategically placed, highly visible receptacles will be most successful in capturing discarded papers, cans and cigarette butts. Identifying Transition Points in communities, equipping them with ash or trash receptacles and regularly and properly maintaining the receptacles has been proven to reduce litter and improve a community’s appearance.