A Litter Litter is a Big Problem

Tool Kit

  • Statewide Litter Prevention Campaign Background

  • ODOT conducted a statewide litter study in 2019 to gather quantitative and qualitative data on visible litter and behaviors and beliefs about litter in Ohio. The project goal was to produce a data set that could be used to create a statewide litter prevention campaign to reduce ODOT’s roadside litter and cleanup costs by 50%
  • Although ODOT spends $4 million annually on litter abatement, the state of Ohio spends $14 million collectively. Ohio businesses spend $407 million, municipalities spend $19 million, counties spend $8.7 million, and schools and universities spend $3.7 million combined
  • In 2020, Governor Mike DeWine ordered ODOT, ODNR, Ohio EPA, and the Governor’s Office use ODOT’s dataset to create a statewide litter prevention campaign focusing on roadways, public parks and beaches, and illegal dumping under the direction of OEPA
  • In early 2021, ODOT contracted with Fahlgren Mortine to develop various logos, advertising, and brand guidelines. Ultimately, the Governor’s office selected “A Little Litter. A Big Problem.” as the campaign’s slogan. The Governor formally kicked off the campaign August 6, 2021 at a statewide web-based litter summit
  • ODOT contracted with Keep Ohio Beautiful in September 2021 to push the campaign out to locals through its affiliate network in communities around Ohio
  • ODOT, ODNR, OEPA, the Governor’s Office, and KOB will begin advertising/social media posts on Earth Day 2022
  • ODOT’s Statewide Litter Study compared Ohio’s findings to the U.S. average and revealed beverage containers were higher in Ohio (18.1%) than the U.S. average (10.2%) comprising 6.2% of all litter in Ohio. Littered paper was much lower in Ohio while fast food packaging and home items were virtually the same. Litter is attributed to intentional acts by motorists and pedestrians, and by insufficiently secured pickup or dump trucks, recycling and trash collection vehicles
  • The largest source of Ohio’s litter is from motorists intentionally disposing of litter from cars and trucks, accounting for more than half of all litter. Vehicle debris, including tires, tire shreds, and automobile parts, made up 16.7% of litter. Because many litter clean-up crews ignore vehicle debris and instead focus on other items, vehicle debris tends to accumulate over time. Fast food related items comprised 16.2% of litter. Small pieces of paper and plastic that appeared to have been mowed made up 14.1% of litter and were observed at 75% of the sites surveyed