Littering is a big issue in Arkansas and Missouri... Thankfully both states are very focused on cleaning up this problem. Through educational campaigns and citizen involvement, the problem with unsightly garbage can literally disappear improving the image of our states and our quality of life as well.
There is no excuse for littering... whether it is on a roadway or a waterway... Littering is illegal, it creates health risks, harms water quality & wildlife, is associated with increased crime, costs time and energy to clear away, creates an ugly environment... and drives away potential business to our communities.
Litter projects the image that people do not care about their communities. Who would want to locate a business where people don't care about their surroundings? Who would want to move their family to an area where people don't care?
But here's the real question... Why do people even choose to litter in the first place? There are numerous opportunities to toss your trash in a garbage can up and down almost every highway. And if you don't pass a receptacle... hold onto it and throw it away when you get to YOUR home.
The good news is all of us now have the opportunity to take action. Earlier this year Arkansas, one of only eight states in the country, launched a new Violator Reporting System encouraging motorists who spot a littering violation along any street, road or highway to call 1-866-811-1222 to report the situation. Here's a portion of the ads you have seen airing on KAIT and TV stations across the state...
[Portion of anti-littering ad runs]
All types of trash and all types of vehicles are subject to be reported, whether it's a cigarette butt or large trash items from a commercial vehicle..., as long as you provide the license plate number.
Missouri has two campaigns pushing to curb the litter epidemic... No MO Trash primarily aimed at cleaner roadways and Stash That Trash which targets cleaner streams.
By the way... have you noticed that it seems people just accept that a cigarette butt can be tossed out of their vehicle or stomped on the ground as they are entering a business? That's littering... and that is illegal. And by the way... cigarette butts are not biodegradable. In fact, to show the impact of cigarette butt littering Keep Haltom City Beautiful in Texas entered their Buttmobile in a recent parade to showcase that cigarette butts are litter, too! The Buttmobile is covered with 20,000 cigarette butts that KHCB collected from city streets.
We encourage you to... Hold onto your trash and dispose of it in a garbage receptacle. Secure and cover your load in your pick-up truck or dump truck, take a mesh bag in your boat, canoe or tube, use your ash tray to extinguish your cigarette. And if you see someone littering in Arkansas... get their tag number and call... 1-866-811-1222. If we all do our part we really can Keep Arkansas and Missouri Beautiful.