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Litter Prevention

Research and experience has shown that litter is the result of individual behavior – choosing to litter or being careless in the handling of waste. You have a role to play in preventing litter. It takes just one person, one school, one business, one organization to positively impact the behavior of others in their community.

Litter is a serious and expensive environmental problem – it lowers property values, it is costly to clean, it endangers water quality and affects the quality of life for humans and wildlife. It also wastes valuable resources that could be put to better use through established waste management programs. Litter cleanup costs the U.S. almost $11.5 billion each year, with businesses paying $9.1 billion. Governments, schools and other organizations pick up the remainder.

The Anacostia Watershed Society recently conducted a litter survey of the  Anacostia Watershed in Washington D.C. and Maryland. The "Anacostia Watershed Litter Survey" analyzed small and large litter on 96 roadways and non-roadways. Foam foodservice comprised from 4.0 to 0.4% of litter in the nation's capital.

Keep America Beautiful announced the results of “Litter in America”, the largest litter study ever conducted in the U.S. at its 2009 National Conference. The study identifies and dissects the causes, effects and costs of litter in America and is the first major national survey of litter in the U.S. in 40 years.

Get educated with Keep America Beautiful’s Litter Fact Sheets: