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Summer Benton Chesterfield Apr 6, 2023 13:48 pm
I work for the Department of Community Enhancement in Chesterfield County, Virginia, on the Keep Chesterfield Beautiful Team.  My small team of 4 attempts to educate on litter control by reaching diverse members of the population in various ways for behavior change.  
  • Keep Chesterfield Beautiful (KCB) educates at the primary school levels, grades K-12, when invited to speak about litter - often revolving around Earth Day activities. 
  • KCB runs the Adopt-A-Spot program for our 437 square mile county.
  • KCB provides Community Litter Cans, which are placed in strategic locations with heavy pedestrian foot traffic (sidewalks), and common trucker pull-off parking areas.
  • KCB runs the Assign-A-Highway program, putting court-mandated individuals to work picking up litter throughout the county to perform their required community service work owed to the court system.
  • KCB also provides tasking for and works alongside the Sheriff's Workforce, where inmates are assigned to a Sheriff's truck with blue lights to pick up litter from roadways with significantly more vehicular traffic and greater mph speed limits, under supervision.
  • KCB has responsibility for installing 'No Littering' and 'No Dumping' signs when requested or needed in a particular area.  The signs we use have a $2,500 fine attached to them.

The workshop we attended here at CBSM has opened our eyes to implementation through case studies and the importance of using surveys to ramp up litter control initiatives.  We would like to incorporate the tactics gleaned from attending the workshop into our ways moving forward, but are looking for a springboard.

I am looking for any information for programs or ways other localities have reached specific parts of these diverse populations in an effort to combat litter:
  1. Trucker trash - including 'trucker bombs' of pee bottles.  Is there anyone on this forum that has actually reached out to the trucking companies themselves to try gaining drivers' pledges?
  2. Interactive Litter Games - Special Events.  Interactive seems to be the major attention grabber these days.  Other than spreading litter around our table at events and putting a picker in young folks hands, we are looking at better ways to engage people of all ages to gain new recruits for the Adopt-A-Spot program.
  3. Survey the community at events?  Surveying the community at special events seems like preaching to the choir.  Environmental events tend to pull in like-minded individuals and the survey would be seemingly pre-biased and would not be a true sampling for any studies.  KCB doesn't have the staff to phone residents to participate in surveys.
  4. The Business Sector / Business Partnerships - I am looking to increase from a pretty null and void, knowingly missed opportunity to engage local businesses into cleaning up their frontage, easements and general surroundings of litter.  Most businesses to hire landscaping companies to maintain their grounds; however, this is seasonal at best and litter abounds during the winter and fall months.
I look forward to hearing from anyone in the forum about these topics and hearing any stories, what has or has not been successful so that KCB might avoid common pitfalls.

Thank you in advance,
Summer Benton
Email:  [email protected]
Website:   Community Enhancement | Chesterfield County, VA