Significant gains seen in litter control effort

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2005

Lincoln County is a much cleaner and more beautiful place tolive than it was five years ago, according to a report announcedthis week from Keep Lincoln County Beautiful.

Homer Richardson, Keep Lincoln County Beautiful spokesperson,said the report shows a 51 percent average reduction in litteracross the county from 2000 to 2005. He discussed the survey atMonday’s supevisors’ meeting and is expected to make a presentationto city aldermen at a future meeting.

Individual county districts and the city showed improvementranging from 35 percent to 68 percent, he said.

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“Our litter rating is better than it’s been in five years – whenwe started the survey,” said Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop. “Everydistrict is down.”

Bishop credited increased public awareness and education, thecounty litter control unit and anti-litter signage for thedecline.

Richardson complimented the county’s litter control unit on itsefforts to remove trash from the roadways, but said publicawareness and litter education were probably the primary reasonsfor the decline.

“I believe we are seeing a cultural change,” he said. “Peopleare more hesitant to throw something out there.”

Psychologically, it’s easier to dispose of litter in an areathat’s already littered, he said.

The results of the report are determined by a visual survey ofthe county. Five members of Keep Lincoln County Beautiful visit 90locations in the county, which are unknown outside of theorganization, and rate the litter there on an increasing scale of 1to 5, with 1 indicating no litter.

Overall, the county posted a rating of 1.37, an improvement of39.71 percent over 2004’s 1.92 rating.

City results were even more marked, Richardson said. Brookhavenposted a 1.23 rating, a 48.37 percent improvement.

Even more telling, he said, was how much the city recoveredafter posting a negative 1.47 percent rating last year. The slipcame after three years of successful efforts.

Richardson commended the city on its improvement. He added thatit only got harder from here to continue to post improvementbecause it was easier to show results when litter was abundant thanwhen the county stays clean.

“It’s going to be hard to maintain and, of course, there’spockets of litter,” Richardson said. “But, overall, there’ssignificant improvement over last year’s results.”