The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works has formed an unprecedented partnership with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to reduce storm water pollution in Los Angeles County.
Together, the county and Caltrans will spend more than $1 million to spread their message, “Don’t Trash California,” across the county in the next nine months.
“Litter poses a real threat to the health of our residents and the vitality of our marine and wildlife,” said Caltrans Director Will Kempton. Caltrans will spend $6.5 million statewide on its “Don’t Trash California” campaign, which will run through September 2006 and include advertising, community outreach, special events and partnerships with businesses and sport teams. To bolster the campaign in L.A. county, the County DWP will add $560,000 to the $580,000 that Caltrans has already committed to finance the local campaign.
Collectively, the 10 million residents of LA County generate more than 200 tons of litter annually that ends up in storm drains. While some trash is captured in trash nets, much of it flows unimpeded into the ocean. In addition, thousands of gallons of pet waste, vehicle fluids, hazardous waste and commercial solvents wind up in storm drains and flow onto local beaches, and into rivers and the ocean.
Research indicates that litter in LA County comes from seven primary sources: household garbage cans, commercial dumpsters, construction sites, loading docks and uncovered trucks, drivers and pedestrians.
The leading form of litter found on California freeways is cigarette butts, followed by food cartons, Styrofoam cups, napkins, plastic utensils, food wrappers, matches, soft drink bottles and cans, paper bags, tissues, plastic sheets, film, boxes, clothes, newspapers, magazines, metal, foil, anti-freeze and motor oil containers, grease, paint and paint thinners, tires and so on.