Hinkley Center, 1998

Roadside litter surveys conducted in Florida between 1994 and 1997 showed that roadside litter is increasing statewide. A 1995 survey found that Florida boaters and anglers consider litter to be a major problem for Florida's waterways. Concern is rising about the negative consequences of unsightly litter in a state that depends heavily on the beauty of its natural environment to attract more than 43 million visitors each year from all over the world.

Florida is one of many states that recognize that resources expended to clean up litter could be better spent on more important services. Litter is especially undesirable in a state whose economy is heavily dependent upon tourism. Many Floridians live on or around the water, and the state's beaches, rivers and lakes attract many of the state's visitors. Litter on the ground often washes into nearby surface waters. The speed with which Florida's population is growing also lends urgency to the need for ongoing efforts to reduce and prevent littering throughout the state.

How can litter be reduced in Florida? How does litter affect Florida's economy and quality of life? What strategies have been successful in other states? These and other questions were the focus of a study conducted in 1997-98 by the Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management. This report presents the findings of the study.

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