What Is Litter?

Litter is misplaced, improperly handled, un-containerized solid waste. When it’s bagged and placed in closed receptacles, waste cannot become litter!


Where Does Litter Come From?

The seven main sources of litter are:

  1. Household trash
  2. Commercial and business trash
  3. Loading dock refuse
  4. Construction site material
  5. Uncovered trucks hauling loose materials
  6. Motorists
  7. Pedestrians

From these sources, litter is carried in every direction by wind, water, and traffic. It moves until trapped by a curb, wall, fence, a row of trees, a building, or other stationary object. Once trapped, litter becomes not only an eyesore, but an invitation for people to add more.

Why Do People Litter?

Research has shown that the main factor attributed to littering is attitude. People feel that it’s okay to litter in certain situations.

  • Where litter is cleaned up periodically (Shopping center parking lots or theatres, for example)
  • Where they feel no sense of ownership (As in public parks, on city streets, or rented homes)
  • Where there is already an accumulation of litter (At illegal “dumps” or where litter is trapped)

Ways You Can Help

Report problem areas that need to be cleaned up.

  • Involve your business or organization in a clean-up project.
  • Organize a neighborhood clean-up. Keep Albany-Dougherty beautiful will help you with the planning.
  • Containerize all Waste - Making sure your outdoor receptacles are securely closed will prevent spillage and spreading. Work with city collection agencies when handling large items, brush, leaves and other special materials.
  • Don’t add to the problem - Remember, keeping our community beautiful is a job for each of us. No matter where you are, please put waste material in proper trash receptacles, or carry it with you until you find a container.
  • Join Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful for the city’s annual community-wide litter clean-up event held on the THIRD SATURDAY in April. Participants receive a FREE t-shirt, gloves and trash bags. Call 302-3098 to register.