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Learn How Other States Cope With Litter

Friday, April 7, 2006
Let DPW know what you think could prevent litter in DC.

(Washington, DC) The District spends millions of dollars sweeping city streets every year and collects thousands of tons of trash from DC’s 4,300 public litter cans. Additionally, hundreds of volunteers devote dozens of hours to organize community cleanups in neighborhoods across the city. Furthermore, District law requires property owners to sweep or keep clean the area in front of their homes or businesses, from the curb line out 18 inches into the roadway.

Yet, keeping litter under control and off city streets is still an annual struggle. But the District is not alone in its fight against litter; other cities and states also work hard to keep their sidewalks, streets and highways clean.

One such state is New Jersey, which commissioned a survey to tell public officials where litter was coming from, who was doing the littering, and how to reduce and stop littering in their state. Feel free to read the 2004 New Jersey Litter Survey in full, or just the executive summary. Then tell us what you think about their findings. Let us know if you think a similar approach could work in DC. Do you think advertising can change people’s behavior? What other suggestions would you make to address the problem of litter?