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Friday, September 24, 2010

Litterbugs Cost City $15 Million Yearly

Posted By on Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Who gives a hoot about litter cleanup if there's no money?
  • Who gives a hoot about litter cleanup if there's no money?
Who gives a hoot about litter cleanup if there's no money?
The city's Department of Public Works spent more than $15 million this past fiscal year cleaning up litter, according to a new report.

Last year, a report prepared in anticipation of a tobacco fee designed to pay for cigarette butt cleanup produced an estimate that litter cleanup cost the Department of Public Works more than $20 million in 2009 -- suggesting either residents are becoming neater, can no longer afford to buy things to throw away, or that the city is leaving trash on the ground due to budget cuts.

The cigarette butt cleanup portion of all city government departments last year reportedly amounted to $7,487,916. The city adopted an ordinance tacking a 20 cent cleanup fee on each pack sold in the city. That still left around $18 million in non-tobacco litter costs according to the 2009 estimate. That's led to a proposal for another fee, this one attached to junk food to pay for discarded wrappers.

However, judging from the Department of Public Works Sept. 14 report, the city has resolved litter's cost problem simply by not paying to clean it all up. Clearly, we need to think up some more fees.

Next: a barf litter tax. - MATT SMITH
  • Matt Smith
  • Next: a barf litter tax.
Matt Smith
Next: a barf litter tax.

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Matt Smith


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