Wednesday October 11, 2006
‘Kicking butts and taking names’ with cigarette-litter initiative and litter hotline
Mayor Jerry Abramson today said Louisville’s anti-litter efforts are expanding to “kick butts and take names” – with a new campaign aimed at reducing cigarette litter and a new hotline for citizens to report litterers.
“Louisville is serious about eliminating litter of all forms from our streets,” Abramson said. “The next phase of our continuing anti-litter initiative will educate our citizens that cigarette butts indeed are litter, and call upon our citizens to help be our eyes in identifying litterers.”
New campaign targets cigarette litter
Abramson said that cigarette butts account for approximately 30 percent of the debris collected from Louisville’s streets, sidewalks and parks – and they have a lasting impact.
“It’s become too much of a habit for some people to mindlessly throw a cigarette butt on the ground or out the car window and, unfortunately, those butts do not biodegrade,” Abramson said.
In the coming weeks, messages including, “Louisville Is Not an Ashtray,” will appear on buses, bus shelters and other forms of advertising – urging motorists and pedestrians not to litter Louisville with cigarette butts. Abramson said other steps to combat cigarette litter will include:
- Distribution of pocket ashtrays at public events through a team of volunteers.
- Distribution of portable vehicle ashtrays, called “bobkens,” at key suburban intersections where cigarette litter has been identified as a problem.
- Louisville Downtown Management District has identified 10 cigarette litter “hotspots” downtown and is placing additional urns in those areas for disposing of cigarette butts. In addition, LDMD will monitor the hotspots to measure the campaign’s progress. Hotspots include 5th and Market sts., Broadway at Fourth St., and Guthrie Park.
Citizens urged to ‘Report-A-Litterer’
Abramson said residents can get directly involved in making Louisville a more litter-free community through a new Report-A-Litterer program aimed at motorists who throw fast-food wrappers, soda bottles or any type of litter out their car window.
“If you spot someone tossing litter out of their car, we want to know about it,” Abramson said.
Citizens can Report-A-Litterer by contacting MetroCall at 311 (or 574-5000) or by visiting Metro Call Online here. People reporting littering must provide the license plate number of the vehicle.
The owner of the vehicle will receive a letter saying litter was reported thrown from their vehicle, and reminding the owner that littering is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or up to a year in jail. An automobile litter bag also will accompany each letter.
The litter bags also will be distributed in coming months at a variety of automotive businesses including Jiffy Lube and Midas Muffler.
TARC also is partnering with the city to keep its buses and bus stops litter-free with its own advertising campaign to supplement the city’s.
Annual community-wide cleanup is October 14
Abramson said another hands-on way to make Louisville cleaner is by joining the annual Brightside Community-wide Cleanup on Saturday, October 14, from 8 a.m. to noon.
“The Cleanup is a structured way for families, neighborhood groups, church groups, school groups, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and social clubs to make a difference on their street, throughout their neighborhood or somewhere else in their hometown,” Abramson said.
Last year, about 1,000 volunteers from 40 different groups or organizations joined in the Community-wide Cleanup.
Individual volunteers or groups are asked to select any part of the community they wish to clean.
Volunteers will be provided with bags, gloves, a free T-shirt. The supplies can be picked up at the Brightside offices, 400 S. First Street, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Friday, October 13.
Volunteers are asked to call MetroCall at 311 after the Cleanup to notify Louisville Metro Solid Waste Management where to pick up the filled trash bags.
To celebrate Brightside’s 20th birthday, volunteers also will receive a free daffodil bulb when they pick up their Cleanup supplies. The bulbs are to be planted in a public place.
“Get together 20 or 30 people, and your group can really make a statement by planting 20 or 30 daffodils at your neighborhood entrance or community gathering place,” Abramson said.