Brightside Newsroom 

Litter-Free Summit

Friday January 13, 2006

Mayor’s Litter-Free Louisville Summit Generates Ideas to Reduce Clutter

‘Street Spam,’ litter hotline and cigarette litter addressed

Temporary signs cluttering roadways, cigarette butts, and a hotline to report litterers were among the topics discussed yesterday at Mayor Jerry Abramson’s Litter-Free Louisville Summit.

The summit, hosted by Brightside as part the ongoing community-wide “Keep It Clean” campaign, brought more than 80 business, civic and neighborhood leaders to the Galt House Hotel and Suites to discuss issues pertaining to all forms of litter and develop new tactics to reduce litter across Louisville.

“I’m challenging citizens and businesses to get involved in cleaning up our community,” Abramson said. “We created Brightside 20 years ago to mobilize our city to become more clean and green with year-round cleanups and new initiatives. By working together; we can make our hometown a cleaner place to live.”

Results of the summit include:

  • A pilot program to notify litterers of violating the law. Beginning Jan. 17, Louisville Metro Solid Waste Management workers and more than 150 Bee Line Courier drivers will call MetroCall 311 to report litterers, providing car license-plate numbers, vehicle description, and details of the incident. The owner of the vehicle will receive a letter including the details of the littering incident along with a Brightside car litter bag and a reminder of the state law prohibiting littering with penalties up to $500, 12 months in jail, or both.
  • Several auto dealerships, oil-change locations, car washes and auto-repair shops throughout Louisville will begin placing litter bags in vehicles that are purchased or serviced. 
  • Six organizations will be added to the list of businesses, schools and community groups whose volunteers clean community roadways through the Brightside Green Mile program. Those organizations include: Brown-Forman, Brownsboro Paint and Hardware, California Neighborhood Association, Jefferson County Public Schools, Pepsi and the city of Rolling Hills.

In addition, Abramson formed a Litter-Free Louisville citizen task force and charged agencies of city government to develop campaigns to address cigarette litter and temporary signs illegally placed in the public right-of-way – known as “street spam.”

Abramson said Brightside and other city departments have together made progress in combating litter. Increased litter removal and education efforts over the past year include:

  • More than 50 “Green Miles” adopted;
  • Citizen volunteers cleared more than 80 tons of trash in 2005; 
  • Inmate crews cleared more than 26 tons of trash last year; 
  • Supplemental winter interstate cleanups cleared almost 150 tons of trash;
  • Sidewalk sweeping was made available to neighborhoods conducting cleanups;
  • Street sweeping was made available for suburban arteries for the first time, with more than 1,000 miles cleaned to date;
  • Decorative trashcans purchased for downtown and distributed to Metro Council representatives for each district;
  • Partnered with schools to implement the “Keep It Clean” competition in 17 area high schools and featured litter prevention in the Eco-Drama program available to all 3rd grade classrooms.

Sponsors of the Litter-Free Louisville Summit include: BIRP- Business Industry Recycling Program, Galt House Hotel & Suites, Keep America Beautiful, and White Castle.

For help organizing a neighborhood cleanup or questions regarding any of the above initiatives, call Brightside at 574-2613 or email keepitclean@louisvilleky.gov


Getting Involved in Eliminating Litter

Residents can help by:

  • Picking up litter wherever you see it
  • Report litter from automobiles, call MetroCall at 311 or 574-5000 and provide license plate number, vehicle description and location of incident
  • Report illegal dumping, call MetroCall at 311 or 574-5000
  • Organize neighborhood cleanups
  • Serve on a citizen task force to follow up on ideas generated at the Litter-Free Louisville Summit
  • Make a tax-deductible contribution to Brightside to support various cleanup activities

Organizations can help by:

  • Placing a link to www.keepitcleanlouisville.org on their website which educates the public on “litter” known facts such as what is litter, why people litter, how litter impacts our environment and what the fines in Louisville Metro are if caught littering.
  • Adopt a “Green Mile” or “Adopt-A-Highway” (along state-maintained roads) for cleanup, start a waste reduction and recycling program and keep trash containers secured.
  • Hang a “Put Trash Where it Belongs” poster at your location(s); call MetroCall at 311 or 574-500 to request your free poster.
  • Commit to keeping the area around your business clean by conducting regular litter sweeps, providing cigarette receptacles and providing a trash can or adopt and service a can provided by Louisville Metro.
  • Contribute to Brightside by sponsoring cleanup activities, awareness events, litter bags or cleanup equipment.

Upcoming cleanups:

  • Wednesday, April 26, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Brightside Pre-Derby Cleanup held in downtown Louisville. For information or to register to participate, call 574-2613.
  • Saturday, June 17, 8 a.m. – 12 noon. Ohio River Sweep, organized by MSD. For information or to register to participate, call 1-800-359-3977