The Cost of Litter

Why is a clean community important?
A clean community attracts businesses and tourists, and helps maintain a high quality of life in general.  When one person drops “just a little trash”, more follows and can become a very big, expensive community issue. Growing a culture of stewardship in the Truckee Meadows is a part of our mission so that we can achieve our vision of becoming America’s cleanest community.

Here are some helpful resources about the cost of litter:

Trash begets trash (or vandalism)
Cialdini, R.B., Reno, R.R., and Kallgren, C.A., (1990). A Focus Theory of Normative Conduct: Recycling the Concept of norms to reduce littering in public places. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Kelling, G.L, and Wilson, J.Q. (1982). Broken Windows: The police and neighborhood safety. The Atlantic Monthly.
Cialdini, R.B. (2003). Crafting normative messages to protect the environment. Current Directions in Psychological Science.
Keep America Beautiful (2009). Key Findings: LITTERING BEHAVIOR. Litter in America: Results from the nation’s largest litter study.
Keep America Beautiful (2009). Key Findings: Littering Near Busy Pedestrian Centers. Litter in America: Results from the nation’s largest litter study.

Cost to Americans and American businesses
Keep America Beautiful (2009). Key Findings: LITTER. Litter in America: Results from the nation’s largest litter study.
Keep America Beautiful (2009). Key Findings: The Costs of Americans Littering. Litter in America: Results from the nation’s largest litter study.

Value of open space
Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (2014), Exposure to Neighborhood Green Space and Mental Health: Evidence from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Ulrich, R.S. (1984), View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. Science.
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and the GreenSpace Alliance (2011). Return on Environment: The Economic Value of Protected Open Space in Southeastern Pennsylvania
UK National Ecosystem Assessment. Hidden value of nature revealed in groundbreaking study. Gov.uk.
Hannum, C., Laposa, S., Reed, S., Pejchar, L., and Ex, L. Comparative Analysis of Housing in Conservation Developments: Colorado Case Studies. The Journal of Sustainable Real Estate.

Reducing waste
Gunders, D. (2012). Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill. Natural Resources Defense Council.
Biocycle, and Earth Engineering Center of Columbia University (2010). The State of Garbage in America. 17th Nationwide Survey of MSW Management in the U.S.

Noise pollution
Cohen, S., Glass, D.C., and Singer, J.E. (1973). Apartment noise, auditory discrimination and reading ability. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.