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Everything Broad Ripple HomearrowRandom Ripplings Homearrow2021 07 08arrowPublic Notice

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posted: Jul. 08, 2021

The City of Indianapolis's Office of Sustainability and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) have collaborated with behavior science researchers at Behavior Insights Team (BIT) to study littering in Indianapolis, collect data, and implement multiple "interventions" to change human behavior around littering. Trials on two interventions began earlier this spring and the "A Little Love Stops Litter" awareness campaign launched today, July 6.
A total of four data trials will be run to address pedestrian littering and the illegal dumping of large items in alleys and the public right-of-way. The remaining two trials will occur in 2022 and will be informed by the analysis of data collected during this year's intervention trials.
This is the first dedicated research being conducted on littering in Indianapolis in the city's history, and one of the first studies of its kind in the world.
"This highly anticipated anti-littering campaign will help empower Indianapolis residents to adopt environmentally friendly habits that make our community a cleaner, greener place to live," said Mayor Joe Hogsett. "Additionally, the data driven, evidenced-based approach further demonstrates the commitment throughout our administration to utilizing research and best practices in public programs and initiatives."
The City and KIB partnered with IndyGo for one intervention to install signage at select bus stops earlier this spring, encouraging riders to utilize trash cans. The other intervention trial involved sending educational mailers to a number of households, informing residents of the heavy trash pickup services available to them in their area. In both cases, volunteers collected data to compare the test groups to a control group.
For the broad awareness campaign, A Little Love Stops Litter marketing materials are being launched on social media, in print, and on radio.
The goals of the campaign include stopping litter by making responsible disposal the habitual choice for everyone. Other goals are to share easy steps anyone can take to make a difference and to encourage every resident to be a part of ending litter in Indianapolis.
"Showing a little love can do a lot for our city, which our KIB volunteers understand as they pick up over 1 million pounds of litter from Indy's streets annually," said KIB President & CEO Jeremy Kranowitz. "A 2020 litter study by Keep America Beautiful found nearly 50 billion pieces of litter in the United States along roads and waterways, which equates to 152 pieces of litter for every US resident. If everyone in Indianapolis did one small thing each week to help address litter, it would make a huge difference for the entire city."
During 2020, single-use plastics became even more common, the City's Department of Public Works collected record amounts of residential trash as people spent more time at home, and many reported seeing an increase in the littering of PPE including masks, wipes, and gloves.
The City and KIB's most recent anti-littering effort, called It's My City, launched in 2017 with the support of Eli Lilly and Company. Over the course of three years, the campaign was designed to leverage civic pride and engage residents in the health of Indianapolis.
Former Mayor Bill Hudnut started KIB in 1976 with his iconic "Hudnut Hook" PSA and call to Put Litter In Its Place. In 2021, 45 years later, KIB, the City of Indianapolis, and neighbors across the community are asking every resident and friend of Indy to show a little love and stop litter.
Here are 8 steps residents can take RIGHT NOW to make a big impact:
  • Bag all loose trash in 10- to 15- gallon bags before placing in your trash cart
  • Pick up one piece of trash
  • Utilize heavy trash pickup days in your neighborhood
  • Properly dispose of cigarette butts -- the #1 most littered item in the country
  • Utilize the City's ToxDrop locations for household hazardous waste disposal and electronics recycling
  • Re-use items whenever possible
  • Keep a bag in your car to collect trash so it doesn't blow out the windows or doors
  • Carry trash with you until you locate a trash can
A campaign resource kit for media and community partners is available to download here.

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