RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – Ridgeland Public Works Director Alan Hart recently highlighted the consequences of litter not only in the city, but throughout the state of Mississippi.
It’s well-known that litter affects the environment. It can also be a breeding ground to bacteria, rodents, and other pests. It can also be harmful to pets or other animals. The cost of litter eventually becomes a burden on tax-payers.
“It’s frustrating that tax-payer dollars are being spent to combat something that is completely preventable,” said Hart.
He stated that litter removal takes a lot more time and preparation. Inmates who pick up trash must be scheduled weeks in advance. Police officers need to be scheduled during their vacation and paid on time. When inmates aren’t available, city maintenance workers have to be used. Hart stated that the last crew collected over 300 bags litter and cost the city $5,700.
Hart estimates that the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), spends millions each year to clean up litter in the state. MDOT research has shown that 62% of Mississippi’s litter is deliberate. Males are responsible for 72% of deliberate littering in Mississippi and 89% of accidental littering. It’s estimated that 38% of all littering comes from truck beds.
Keep America Beautiful also found that litter can lower property values by nine percent according to 55% of realtors. It is also estimated that 60% of property appraisers will reduce a home’s value if nearby property is littered.
“If you witness a deliberate violation of state litter laws, we encourage you to obtain a license plate number and contact the Ridgeland Police Department,” said Ridgeland Police Chief John Neal.