Photo by PoPville flickr user johnmcochran2012
I’m told special attention will be focused on illegal dumping and littering from vehicles. Each police district will have patrols addressing these issues for the next month. There is a ticket for littering from vehicles that start at $50 and illegal dumping can be $500.
“To understand the purpose of Litter Enforcement, we must first have a working definition.
Litter consists of waste products that have been disposed improperly, without consent, at an inappropriate location. Litter can also be used as a verb. To litter means to throw (often man-made) objects onto the ground and leave them indefinitely or for others to dispose of as opposed to disposing of them properly.
Larger hazardous items such as tires, appliances, electronics and large industrial containers are often dumped in isolated locations, such as National Forests and other public land.
It is a human impact on the environment and is a serious environmental issue in many countries. Litter can exist in the environment for long periods of time before degrading and be transported large distances into the world’s oceans. Litter can affect quality of life.
Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world, with 4.5 trillion discarded annually. Cigarette butts can take up to five years to completely break down. Statistics in 2003 showed metal/aluminum soft drink cans as the least littered item.
Litter can remain either visible for extended periods of time before it eventually biodegrades, with some items made of condensed glass, styrofoam or plastic possibly remaining in the environment for over a million years.
About 18 percent of litter, usually traveling through stormwater systems, ends up in local streams, rivers, and waterways. Uncollected litter can accrete and flow into streams, local bays and estuaries. Litter in the ocean either washes up on beaches or collects in Ocean gyres such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. About 80 percent of marine debris comes from land-based sources.
Some litter that is collected can be recycled, however degraded litter cannot be recycled and eventually degrades to sludge, often toxic. The majority of litter that is collected goes to landfills.”