The goal of the Wood Buffalo Anti-Littering Initiative is to create litter awareness and to educate residents of all ages. Increasing litter consciousness will encourage proper garbage disposal and reduce the amount of litter found in our region.
What can you do?
Reducing litter is everybody’s job. Successful litter control is an ongoing effort that involves the entire community. Take action!
You can make a difference by disposing of waste in the proper receptacles.One person, one business, one organization can set a positive example for others to follow.
Get involved with these easy steps:
- Take responsibility
- Get involved in Community Cleanups
- Place garbage in containers with lids
- Cover open loads on trucks
- Reduce and reuse as much as possible
- Donate unwanted items
How long does litter take to decompose?
Here are some examples:
- Napkin: two to four weeks
- Paper bag: one month
- Cotton rags and paper: two to five months
- Orange peel: six months
- Plastic bag: 10 to 20 years
- Tin can: 50 to 100 years
- Straw: 200 years
- Plastic six-pack rings: 450 years
- Plastic bottle: over 500 years
- Glass bottle: 1 million years
What is litter?
Litter is waste that has not been disposed of properly. It is unsightly and reduces the aesthetic appeal of the community. It can pose environmental, health and safety concerns. Sharp objects like broken glass and metals can cause injury to pets and children. Decaying food and pet droppings can spread disease, putting both humans and animals at risk.
Where does litter come from?
Motorists and pedestrians are responsible for creating between 30-55% of all litter. The rest comes from household or commercial garbage, construction sites, and loads which are not properly secured.
Cigarettes are the most littered item in the world, with an estimated several trillion butts discarded every year - flicked on sidewalks, beaches, trails, roadways, and other public places. Cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate tow fibers, can take decades to degrade,may into water systems, and are known to contain toxic chemicals that can hurt wildlife if consumed.
No matter where litter starts, it moves, from streets and highways to parks and waterways. Wind, weather, and animals scatter litter around the community into gutters, fence lines, parking lots, and alleys. Up to 18% of litter can end up in our streams and waterways, which causes contamination and pollution.
Studies have shown that people of all ages, genders, and social background litter. Whether it is apathy, indifference, or laziness, litter is a problem.
Studies have also shown that litter attracts litter. If an area is litter-free, people are more likely to think twice about littering.