According to a 2009 national study on litter behavior conducted by Action Research for Keep America Beautiful:
- While 91% of public places surveyed had at least one trash receptacle, only 47% had a cigarette receptacle. Cigarette butts are a very common and very environmentally unfriendly type of litter!
- Out of 130 sites visited, only 2 were litter-free. Most common types of litter were cigarette butts, paper, and food wrappers.
- A surprising finding: 81% of littering behavior was done with notable intent. Most apparently, the purposeful dropping of trash, and the purposeful flicking or flinging of trash.
- A negative correlation was found between littering and age: Older people littered less. At OSU there are young people everywhere, and so littering may be more of an issue on account of age.
- Amount of litter already present as well as the availability of receptacles are factors that impact littering behavior.
- Those who felt personally obligated not to litter showed lower rated of littering behaviors.
- To read the report: http://www.kab.org/site/DocServer/KAB_Report_Final_2.pdf?docID=4581
From the Keep America Beautiful website:
- In 2009, Americans threw away 161 million tons of garbage. That figures to about three pounds of trash per person every day. Enough garbage was produced to circle the earth 24 times!
- Also in 2009, 82 million tons of material were recycled in the U.S. The resulting CO2 emission reduction was equal to taking 33 million cars off the road.
- If recyclable materials that get thrown away in America were recycled, they would generate over $7 billion dollars.
- Recycling one aluminum can generates enough energy to power your TV for 3 hours.
- In 2010, American threw away $2.8 billion worth of paper. 24 trees are sacrificed to make a one ton of printer paper!
- To find out more: http://www.kab.org/site/PageServer?pagename=recycling_facts_and_stats
From links and specific pages found on the Keep America Beautiful website:
- Graffiti removal is a key component in beautifying a city. 80% of graffiti is tagging (e.g. signing one's name), about 5% accounts for large visual pieces, 10% of graffiti is gang affiliated, and the remaining 5% is a miscellaneous category. (Source: http://www.graffitihurts.org/getfacts/fastfacts.jsp)
- The four biggest motivations for graffiti: fame, self-expression, rebellion, and power. (Source: http://www.graffitihurts.org/getfacts/fastfacts.jsp)
- Planting trees and seasonal plants in our communities not only has aesthetic benefits, but economic and practical advantages as well. Businesses with trees out front report 12% more revenue. Properties that are adjacent to reclaimed, beautified vacant lots experience about a 30% increase in value. (Source: http://www.kab.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Focus_beautification)
- Beautification projects bring people together and foster the creation of a safe and welcoming community. In fact, public housing areas that have vegetation and trees report a 50% reduction in violent crime and property crime. (Source: http://www.kab.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Focus_beautification)
- Local gardens and green spaces also help to beautify a community, while also encouraging outdoor exercise and healthy habits. (Source: http://www.kab.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Focus_beautification)