Community Pride & Civic Duty Helping to Prevent Litter in Butte Montana

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Environmental Health
, Litter Pickup and Raising Money

Butte, Montana is the state’s fifth largest city, but it might place first when it comes to environmental health! Both the officials and residents deserve kudos for their civic action. Gary Corbin, one of the county’s code enforcement officers, is asking citizens to start early on the annual Beautify Butte spring cleanup. His department has organized volunteers to pick up trash on the main street corridors. Last year, this group collected 225 large bags of trash and kept it from blowing around the area or landing in the water supply. The city is also installing dumpsters in key areas, so that people can easily dispose of large quantities of trash, or bulky items that might otherwise sit in their yards.

How is this protecting the environment? Aren’t they just collecting debris and taking it to a dump? Yes, the trash will end up in a landfill–which means that it WON’T end up in local bodies of water, or be pushed down storm drains, contributing to nonpoint source pollution.

Thus the officials and citizens of Butte deserve a round of applause for taking steps to organize volunteers to pick up the trash, and spending the money to provide dumpsters. It’s quite easy to implement similar improvements in your own community:

Photo via Keep America Beautiful.

Firstly, if you throw trash on the ground, just stop. If you see trash on the ground, pick it up and properly dispose of it. When you clear away litter, you are contributing to cleaner watersheds, as well as setting an example for others. Hopefully they will follow your lead! This is an especially important consideration for parents.

If you have more time and energy to devote, consider recruiting other people to join you in cleaning up your neighborhood. By eliminating the trash on the ground in your neighborhood, you are slowing the poison of ground and water pollution. As a bonus, you will be raising property values! People tend to purchase homes in clean neighborhoods, as opposed to those cluttered with discarded fast food wrappers and plastic bags. I’m sure you can think of even more reasons why following Butte’s example is a stellar idea! Feel free to share them with us…

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Posted by Mark Contorno

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