Take the Cost of Litter Survey

City of Carbondale, Illinois

June 27, 2012

Take the Cost of Litter Survey!

Every piece of litter costs money to remove.  The City of Carbondale along with Keep Carbondale Beautiful would like to encourage participation in a litter cost survey being conducted to determine the true cost of the effects of litter on Carbondale.

The survey asks two basic questions:  how many hours a week, on average, does a person spend cleaning up litter or helping other people clean up litter?  And how much is that person paid per hour? 

Keep America Beautiful has conducted national studies that lead them to estimate that cleaning up litter in America presently costs (at $20/hour) at least $11.5 billion annually.  That breaks down to $40 per person.  At that estimated rate, the final cost for Carbondale businesses and residents would be about $1 million a year.  When he heard the figure, Carbondale Mayor Joel Fritzler responded, “I’d be surprised if we actually spend that much but, it’s sad that we have to spend precious resources to clean up after people who throw their garbage and cigarette butts onto our sidewalks and streets. I look forward to seeing KCB’s survey results.”

KCB Executive Director Sarah Heyer accepted the challenge, “I hope he’s right!  Whatever it costs, we know that those resources could be better spent.  Our goal is to get some hard data so we better understand the size of this problem.  We need to hear about all the time and resources people spend to maintain clean streets and buildings in Carbondale.”  

The survey is being sent by e-mail to members of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce and other individuals and organizations who have provided e-mail addresses.  The survey is also available on the Keep Carbondale Beautiful website <keepcb.org> where it can be downloaded or done online, and on Facebook.

Rachael E. Moore, J.D.
City Clerk/Freedom of Information Officer
City of Carbondale, Illinois
200 South Illinois Avenue
Carbondale, Illinois 62901
P: 618.457.3280
F: 618.457.3283


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