The only cure for litter is you!
1) Litter makes an area look dirty and uncared for, unpleasant to be in and less likely to be used and enjoyed by the community.
2) People are much less likely to litter in clean areas and littered places keep attracting more liter.
3) Litter dropped in streets pollutes areas and can end up in our waterways.
4) Litter can harm people and animals. (Note, the seagull with a cup in its mouth)
5) It costs millions of dollars to manage and clean up litter, money that could be put to much better use in our communities. This past week I decided to do a little litter clean up along areas of Tompkins, Clinton, Sampton and Plainfield Aves. I brought an issued litter bag and picked up only liquor and beer bottles, the majority of which were the 50 ml bottles.
There are 10 easy tips for preventing and eradicating litter
1) Keep a litter bag in your car and hang on it until you find a receptacle
2) Report litterbugs
3) Make sure your trash cans have tight fitting lids
4) Share with others the proper way of disposing of trash.
5) Put papers in a paper bag before placing them in a recycling bin
6) Adopt-A-Road or parcel of land and maintain it.
7) Beautify your neighborhood, landscaping, repair fences, assist older neighbors.
8) Work places need to provide plenty of containers for garbage, recyclables and butts. These should be maintained daily.
9) Every week pick up litter in front of your house and even your neighbors. Take plastic grocery bags back to the store and throw into their recycling bin.
10) Set an example by not littering.
As of March 2014 penalties for littering are as follows:
- Petty offense. First conviction: fine between $100 and $500, with option of 20 to 40 hours community service. Second conviction within six months: fine between $250 and $1000, with option of 40 to 80 hours community service or up to sixty days of imprisonment.
In fiscal year 2016, which runs from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, NJDOT crews picked up 3,402 tons of litter, including trash picked up by NJ Department of Corrections.
I encourage all parents to get the book “Let’s Slam Dunk the Junk” written by Dave Street, tremendously illustrated and is a quick read. Cost is about $2.00! This book really needs to be read with the family. It will have a positive influence on everyone
Prevention is the key to winning the fight against litter pollution. A little prevention goes a long way.
Participate and volunteer in clean up events, your next opportunity to be part of the solution is April 15. Get a friend or a group to join you in this act of caring. We really need you. Last year 200 people participated. 400 is a number we should strive for this year.
Piscataway has their litter clean up April 22, by April 23 we should have two adjacent towns looking pretty attractive.
Finally as Robert Swan wrote” The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.
Remember the only cure for litter is you.