Littering throughout the United States has become a big problem throughout the years, and some places have made littering illegal or strictly banned. Each year trash and litter clean up costs around 300 million dollars each year. Also each American throws trash without disposing of it properly about every 4 hours.

 

Littering affects costs and other things like the environment. Many things like cans, gum, soda rings, and plastic bags are harmful to animals by cutting them, making them unable to walk, and even killing them.

 

The constant littering throughout the city can hurt the public health due to the bacteria that grows as it sits. In addition, littering can affect the city rivers, and other water systems.  “We’ve got to clean up our town, we’ve got to improve the way we look, and we’ve got to take better care of the community.” said Jeff Pomeranz Cedar Rapids City Manager.

 

Last year an interesting project called the 1 Bag Challenge was created by Jeff Pomeranz the City Manager of Cedar Rapids to try to get citizens of Cedar Rapids to join and help clean up the city. This project can be done by anyone and runs through June 30th

 

Pomeranz is encouraging all Cedar Rapids citizens to participate in the 1 Bag Challenge, where you try to fill one bag of trash around the city. This challenge is to help clean up Cedar Rapids as it inspires different groups, family, friends, and even people on their own to get involved in the city and make a difference in how our city looks.

 

“One bag of trash, I think we would have one of the cleanest communities in America.” Pomeranz said while talking about his thoughts on if everyone in the community would contribute to this challenge.

 

Many stores around Cedar Rapids such as Hy-Vee provide the bags for the challenge. The blue bags are made for the 1 Bag Challenge and provide gloves.

 

This simple challenge helps people get involved and clean up the city but also it really shows people the what littering does to the people and animals that live in Cedar Rapids. In Iowa the consequences of littering are a fine between $65-$625 and/or up to 30 days in jail with possible litter clean up.

 

Studies have shown that people are less likely to litter when they participate in a clean-up, and even those who aren’t directly involved in a clean-up are less inclined to litter if they know people they trust and respect have done clean-up.” said Pomeranz.

 

I asked Pomeranz about his thoughts on if the project was a success or not. “Absolutely. More than 9,000 bags of litter have been collected since the program began, which is great, and our goal is to collect 2,000 bags of litter this year.” said Pomeranz

 

The One Bag Challenge is great way for citizens to get involved in the city and I encourage the citizens of Cedar Rapids to participate in this project.

 

Sources:

 

“How Littering Hurts Animals.” PETA. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.

“Littering Facts, Effects and Statistics.” Interesting Facts. N.p., 29 June 2016. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.

“States with Littering Penalties.” NCSL. N.p., n.d. Web.

Photo Credit: http://www.cedar-rapids.org/residents/resident_resources/1_bag_challenge.php

 

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