Survey: Litter-prevention efforts slip

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, February 8, 2005

The fifth annual report by Keep Lincoln County Beautiful showsthe county slipped in its efforts to clean up litter last year.

Homer Richardson, a member of the Keep Lincoln County Beautifulboard, informed the county board of supervisors Monday that asurvey conducted last month concluded the county as a wholecontains 8 percent more litter than the previous year.

Richardson did not compare districts in the county but providedsupervisors with a break down for their perusal.

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According to the district breakdown, District Two was the onlydistrict to improve in 2004. Brookhaven showed only a slightincrease. District Three showed the greatest increase.

No district, however, reached a rating of 3, which is consideredlittered. Nearly all fell close to the 2 rating, which representsan area that is slightly littered.

Richardson said the survey was conducted by five members of KeepLincoln County Beautiful, who visited 15 different locations ineach district and rated them on a scale of 1 to 4.

The final survey was a compilation of those individual surveys,he said.

“We try to do it at the same time each year, and we visit thesame locations each year” in order to eliminate as many variablesas possible, Richardson said.

District One Supervisor the Rev. Jerry Wilson asked whatlocations were surveyed. He said he wanted to ensure they got moreattention because “we’re out there every day. They’re out there nowpicking up trash.”

“That’s the secret,” Richardson said. “We don’t tell where wesurvey. If we did that then people would work especially hard atthose locations and it would not be a fair representation of thecounty.”

Richardson said it becomes harder for districts to improve oncethey reach a certain level. Although the county slipped in 2004,the slip followed a strong 2003 survey that saw improvement. Thesurvey for 2002, however, was “awful.”

Richardson also provided several tips to supervisors that he hasnoticed through experience in conducting the surveys.

“The areas that we find that are clean tend to stay clean. Idon’t know why that is,” he said. “In contrast, a littered areaseems to signal that it’s OK to litter there and it can become hardto control.”

Supervisors were also informed that the Great American Cleanupwill be held in April. As in previous years, large dumpsters willbe located in several areas in each district for residents to useto help clean up their neighborhoods.

For more detailed information on the survey, select Keep LincolnCounty Beautiful from the “Community Web Sites” link on The DAILYLEADER’s Web site at