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Indiana Department of Transportation

INDOT > Current Programs > Certified Technician Program > Why is Litter Such a Problem Why is Litter Such a Problem

According to research by Keep America Beautiful, Inc., people litter because:

  • The feel no sense of ownership, even though their taxes pay for the upkeep of roads, parks and beaches.
  • They believe it is someone else's job to pick up after them.
  • Litter has already accumulated.

Litterbug Facts

Although motorists and pedestrians are often blamed for littering along roadsides, there are actually seven primary sources:

  • Household trash handling and its placement at the curb for collection
  • Dumpsters used by businesses
  • Loading docks
  • Construction and demolition loads
  • Trucks with uncovered loads
  • Pedestrians
  • Motorists

Litter is blown away by wind and traffic or carried by water. It moves until trapped by a curb, building or fence. Once litter has accumulated, it invites people to add more.

Life Span of Trash

Copyright San Francisco recycling program

Litter and Your Taxes

Litter is a costly problem. Transportation departments spend millions of tax dollars and many hours each year picking up litter. This time and money could be spent to improve Indiana's roadways or rest areas if people would take the time to throw their trash in a designated bin.

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