Iowans weigh in on litter
A recent survey of over 800 Iowans completed for Keep Iowa Beautiful (KIB) found that Iowan's have a high level of awareness of Keep Iowa Beautiful. The survey indicated that 53% of Iowans know about KIB.
The following are some additional points regarding litter issues:
*80% of Iowans feel that litter is problem.
*Even though 80% feel it is a problem statewide -- 66% of Iowans feel that it is a lesser problem in their community.
*Iowans feel that the primary sources of litter are:
|Fast food / convenience store containers||53%||(40 to 44%)|
|Cans and bottles of all types||48%||(5%)|
Tires, automotive items, construction
|material and animal carcasses||9%||(13%)|
When asked which of these sources has the greatest impact on the landscape - fast food, convenience store containers, cups & packaging, plastic bags and tobacco products were considered to have a major impact on the environment.
More than half of Iowans are not aware of the fines for people caught littering. About 52% answered by saying that the current fine is $100. Rural residents tend to have a higher level of knowledge of the fines.
When told the actual penalty of $70 and asked if they would favor an increase in penalties -- 68% of those surveyed indicated they would favor an increase in the penalty level. Younger Iowans tended to be stronger in favoring an increase.
An estimated 70% of Iowans are familiar with the "Adopt A Road" program with little knowledge of any other anti-litter education efforts including a low level of knowledge of the litter hotline.
The results of the survey indicate that KIB is in a position to accelerate efforts to aid in litter prevention and these would be supported by Iowans.
Litter and illegal dumping costs Iowans nearly $30 million dollars per year. Even with a small percentage of funding for education and public awareness efforts (supported by a potential increase in penalties) the return to Iowans would be extremely high in terms of the reduction of this $30 million cost.
In other words "an ounce of prevention can provide a pound of cure."