Trash. Plastic bags, empty bottles, candy wrappers, soda cans, cigarette butts, and other items are littering our cities. Have you ever driven down a road or walked past an area where trash was strewn everywhere? What if you wanted to decrease the amount of litter in your neighborhood? Do you have any idea how you would go about doing that?
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There is a national non-profit organization called Keep America Beautiful that took on this mission. Founded in 1953, the organization works with communities across the country to implement litter cleanup projects, recycling programs, public education campaigns, and other initiatives all dedicated to "keeping America beautiful."
Keep America Beautiful supplements their efforts to decrease litter with data from nationwide studies. Collecting information on littering behavior helps the organization make the most of their resources. For instance, gathering data on the frequency of litter in certain places allows them to see where additional trash receptacles are most needed. Hopefully people would choose to use more accessible trash cans rather than litter.
According to their tally, the organizers determined that there are four types of places where people were more likely to litter: special event venues, roadways and highways, high traffic and everyday locations such as parks and convenience stores, and transition points such as train platforms and bus stations. Using this information, Keep America Beautiful can advise communities to put more trash containers in those areas. The data helps the organizers target areas where people are more likely to litter. Simply by putting trash where it belongs, we can all help to keep America beautiful.
See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGDgfYJCxj0
You can learn more about the work of Keep America Beautiful at the organization's website below. Check out the next link for one of the organization's data-filled fact sheets on littering.