Litter is ugly and unsanitary. It lowers property values and is expensive to clean up. The State of Tennessee spent $19 million to clean up litter in 2021, and the United States government spent over $11.5 billion. DON’T LITTER!!
Litter. You either do or you don’t. Most people who litter do so all of the time. They either don’t know or don’t care about disposing of their garbage properly. There is never a good reason to throw garbage out the car window or to leave it lying on the ground. Food waste is litter, too, and attracts animals to the side of the road, which can endanger both the animals and those driving on the road.
Litter is unsanitary. It’s ugly and difficult to clean up. Litter collects water and provides the perfect conditions to raise mosquitoes. Litter decreases the number of tourists visiting our county, which decreases the amount of money our county derives from tourism. Litter decreases property values and can cause blight in a whole neighborhood or community. Areas in our community with increased litter also have a correlating increase in crime.
Federal and state funding pays for local crews that clean litter in our community almost daily. Many who work in these crews are volunteers. In addition, volunteers from the community spend their free time helping to keep litter in their neighborhoods and communities cleaned up. Despite their best efforts, they are frequently not able to keep up with all the litter that accumulates. Some roads are so dangerous that crews are not able to clean them unless they are shut down by a police escort. So...more and more litter accumulates, making the drive unsightly.
There are laws against littering. Unfortunately, most people who litter are not very concerned with getting caught. It’s just what they do, and most don’t realize it is the wrong thing to do. Individuals who litter can be fined $50. Individuals who litter 10 lbs. or more can be fined $500. Businesses that litter instead of disposing of their garbage properly can be fined thousands of dollars and spend time in jail. Putnam County now has a litter officer who investigates litter and illegal dumping.