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Governor Perdue Announces Litter Initiative

Wednesday, June 15, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Governor Launches Effort to Clean Up Georgia through Litter Prevention

ATLANTA – Today Governor Sonny Perdue signed an executive order creating the Litter Abatement and Prevention Team that he hopes will lead to a long-term, sustainable strategy for reducing litter through increasing public awareness, personal responsibility and community involvement.

The executive order challenges members of the Litter Abatement and Prevention Team with developing recommendations for more effective, coordinated and innovative litter clean-up programs.  The Governor ordered that the team's recommendations be compiled by December 31, 2005.

“Georgians should feel a sense of pride in the way we treat our beautiful state,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.  “Litter problems can affect tourism, economic development, and even our health and safety.  It's our responsibility to put our best foot forward.”

The Governor expects the team to develop a plan for a statewide marketing campaign and tools to coalesce local groups in a coordinated effort to change public behavior.  “It's not enough to organize clean-up efforts.   We've got to alter public opinion so that people will think twice before dropping trash out the car window.”

“We spend more than $14 million each year to remove more than two million bags of trash on 5,000 interstate miles and 18,000 state highway miles because litter affects our health, the environment and is a safety hazard.  Regrettably, this is an avoidable but increasing cost entirely due to carelessness,” said Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Harold Linnenkohl. 

Thousands of Georgians volunteer on litter cleanup efforts through Adopt-A-Highway, Keep America Beautiful programs and other organizations.  Today the Governor charged the Litter Abatement and Prevention Team with developing methods to consolidate the efforts of volunteer organizations, city and county governments and state agencies for a more comprehensive approach.

The Litter Abatement and Prevention Team will be administratively attached to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).  DCA Commissioner Mike Beatty said, “I applaud Governor Perdue's leadership on this important issue. Keeping Georgia beautiful is everyone's responsibility and we're pleased to be part of the group that will share that message.”

The Litter Abatement and Prevention Team will be made up of representatives from the following state agencies, associations and organizations:

Association County Commissioners of Georgia
Department of Community Affairs
Department of Economic Development
Department of Natural Resources
Department of Public Safety
Department of Transportation
Georgia Association of Code Enforcement Officers
Georgia Beverage Association
Georgia Chamber of Commerce
Georgia Chapter of the National Solid Waste Management Association
Georgia Municipal Association
Georgia Police Chief Association
Georgia Pulp and Paper Association
Georgia Sheriffs Association
Georgia State Patrol
Georgia Tire Retailers Association
Governor's Office of Highway Safety
Hands On Georgia
Keep Georgia Beautiful Executive Directors Association
Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District
Prosecuting Attorney's Council of Georgia