April 1st kicked off Litter Enforcement Month. No joke!

Today begins a month-long effort by local police stations, sheriff’s offices, and other agencies to raise awareness about litter, illegal dumping and related crimes. It is our hope that by raising awareness and increasing enforcement efforts, more people will be convinced to change their littering habits. As Litter Enforcement Month gets underway, we encourage you show your solidarity with our partners by taking action. Here’s how:

  1. Choose not to litter and encourage others to do the same.
  2. Join us for our 25th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup on April 6. Find sites here.
  3. Visit our website to read up on your local Litter Enforcement Month and your local Codes.
  4. Call 311 to report illegal dumping and other improperly disposed of trash.
  5. Join the discussion by posting a comment below. How important do you think enforcement is to solving litter in the Potomac?

Litter Enforcement Month also works to highlight the hard work that our partners do to tackle the issue of litter in their communities not just during April, but throughout the year. Even within one jurisdiction there are multiple agencies working on the issue of litter, LEM helps bring them together and highlight how much they do for our region. Whether they are ticketing people for littering, inspecting private properties, or picking up litter along our roadways, these agencies play an important role in helping keep the Potomac trash-free.D6_BusStop_Feet - Copy

This year’s Litter Enforcement Month has attracted a record number of agencies, 15 agencies from 12 jurisdictions. Some participants, such as Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties and the City of Alexandria, have been with us since the beginning is 2008 when we initiated Litter Enforcement Week (expanded to a month-long effort in 2011). Others are joining us for the first time including Fairfax County, the Cities of Manassas and Falls Church, and the WMATA transit police. And for the first time we have non-code enforcement agencies, who will be reporting how much they cleanup during April, including Allegany County, the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center, the City of Alexandria’s Sheriff’s Office, and Prince William County’s Neighborhood Services Division. See the table below for a full list of participants.

We hope that Litter Enforcement Month along with our 25th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup, will help convince people to put their trash where it belongs and to take action in their lives and in their communities.LEM2013_participants

  • Clara

    Back in 2008, the Alice Ferguson Foundation did a study on what motivates people to litter and found that 92% of the 1,000 some people surveyed thought there was little to no chance they could get caught littering, and when litters were asked, they often said they littered in part because they could get away with it. Could this be evidence that increased enforcement efforts will help convince people not to litter? What do you think?

    • Janet

      I am sickened and saddened by how much debris and trash I am seeing everywhere…. on the highways (95, 495 and 270) on the exit / entrance ramps, on the sides of neighorhood roads…. everywhere. I have been spending my time walking my neighborhood filling large garbage bags with bottles and trash people are disposing of improperly. I am so disappointed in what the Metro DC area is becoming and wish more people would take part in cleaning up our neighborhoods. I don’t know what more I can do – I have called 311, DOT and written letters to our local representatives.