Volunteers for the Hampton Clean City Commission conducted the 2013 Community Appearance & Litter Index on Wednesday September 11th and rated the city’s litter status at 1.47, a measure indicating the city is slightly littered. This score was 7 percent worse than last year's score of 1.38, but a 6 percent improvement over the 2000 score of 1.56. The average score since 2000 has been 1.45.
Volunteers who participated in the annual index were Jess Chandler, Felicia Holland, Loye Spencer, Tammy Trietch, and Justin Walker. Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent Megan Tierney drove the van.
Seven of ten Neighborhood Districts saw increases in the amount of litter on their streets.
The most highly littered areas generally are those that are heavily traveled areas that aren’t particularly “owned by” a neighborhood, business district, or family or areas that people feel someone will be paid to clean up. Litter accumulates because people feel they can litter without regard in those areas and then as more litter accumulates, others feel more freedom to litter. Litter becomes a vicious cycle at that point.
This year, areas leading to schools also showed up as slightly littered, with a score of 2 - 2.8.
Litter is tax-expensive to clean up, impacts on the economic viability of a community, encourages neighborhood decline, and is harmful to people as well as to pets and wild animals. Littered cigarettes cause fires and add toxins to our waterways.
In Hampton, virtually every piece of litter that falls is less than a few feet from a storm drain, ditch, or waterway, and from there freely enters the Chesapeake Bay.
The volunteers of the Hampton Clean City Commission urge everyone to put trash where it belongs – in a recycling container or a trash can – and to pick up litter as they come across it.
Other indices scored during this index were outdoor storage (1.30), abandoned vehicles (1.17), illegal signs (1.11), and graffiti (1.02). Please remember that anything you can do to help keep our city clean and neat in appearance will not only improve your quality of life, but also your bottom line, in terms of property values and jobs locating to Hampton. Avoid storing excess household goods outside your house, especially at the front of your house; properly store vehicles not in use and maintain the area around them; remove illegal signs (any sign placed in front of your house without your permission, or any sign on the rights of way in your neighborhood (except political signs during election season), and immediately remove any graffiti on your property. When you see these community eyesores as you go about the community, report them to Hampton's Customer Call Center at 311 (or 727-8311 by cell phone).
For more information about how you can help improve Hampton’s Community Appearance & Litter Index score, contact the Hampton Clean City Commission at 727-1130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.