SECOPA Southern State Litter Scorecard (2008)

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Detailed info from 2008 American State Litter Scorecard on ten Southern states, with case study of how Virginia ("Best"), Misssisippi ("Worst") and Louisiana ("Worst") handle litter removals across …

Detailed info from 2008 American State Litter Scorecard on ten Southern states, with case study of how Virginia ("Best"), Misssisippi ("Worst") and Louisiana ("Worst") handle litter removals across their jurisdictions. Presented at 2008 SeCOPA conference, Orlando, FL.

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  • WORST US Southern States, Public Spaces Cleanliness, 2011:
    1 Kentucky; 2 Louisiana; 3 Mississippi 5 Alabama 7 Georgia, Oklahoma 10 Texas
    BEST: North Carolina
    (Source: 2011 American State Litter Scorecard)
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  • Approx. 350+ people across The South DIE each year in these (often) state/local government agency-preventable accidents--STILL, overall WORST American region for this!

    a) Use internet Government Website, ’Contact Us’ icon or send to topmost specified individual--NO phone calls! (unless has no Internet contact icon/address)
    b) Describe location clearly, using landmarks, mile markers, etc.
    c) Mention state law/county-city ordinance is still in effect, REQUIRES timely removal of litter/debris from ALL public properties. ALL states, counties and cities have these laws/ordinaces.
    d) End of email: use this line ’This email communication IS public record’
    e) Resend email after two weeks if reported site nor cleaned up--accept no excuses--written litter --and their required removal--laws are in effect EVERYWHERE!
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  • 1. THE [SeCOPA] SOUTHERN STATE LITTER SCORECARD : Assessing Statewide Environmental Quality Through Public Property Litter Removal Performance Steve Spacek, M.P.A. The 2008 Southeastern Public Administration Conference Orlando, Florida September 27, 2008
  • 2. Welcome to Florida! Nationally Ranks “ Below Average ” in Statewide Public Property Litter Eradication
  • 3. Maintaining a Clean Environment : Litter Eradication/Abatement is a source reduction physical activity that provides a healthy, enjoyable surface environment for humans and wildlife . Littering :Throwing of small amounts of trash/garbage in small, individualized portions. Dumping is littering on a larger, voluminous scale. Both are environmental crimes creating dangers to public health, safety and welfare.
  • 4. Environmental Injustice : Litter/Source Reduction Activities Amongst the SeCOPA States are UNEQUAL , UNJUST!! Poor Litter Eradication has led to damaged scenic environments, breeding grounds for diseases, insects and rodents, and wildlife devastation. In 2005, at least 265 r esidents of the SECOPA states died as result of traffic accidents caused by littering/movable debris along roadways.* States Are Lacking in efforts to collect uniform litter abatement data for research comparisons (i.e. volumes of waste collected by mileage/location, budget funding sources/expenditures; number of required annual/seasonal cleanups; performance standard surveys; persons cited/prosecuted for infractions). Most SeCOPA States are “increasingly plagued with [appalling health] symptoms produced by [tolerated] cultural and political maladies, leaving their air, water and land conditions ‘seriously contaminated’”** * 2005 Traffic Facts , NHTSA. **Bullard; Cochran, A., U. S. Department of Justice- Law.
  • 5. HUMANS Cause Littering: Factors Crafting An Unique Environmental Injustice on The South Reasons to Litter : Litter Begets Litter; Apathy; Inconvenience; Community Attitudes; Entitlement; Class Alienation, Greed/Ignorance* Governmental Neglect: Millions spent to combat litter, but humans disrespect money and efforts spent. Also, indifference and negligence by some officials makes for persistent litter problems* State/Regional Environmental Values : Early settlers (especially Scotch- Irish) perpetuate Judeo-Christian beliefs: Bend nature to meet man’s needs. Deep South, western Gulf Coast: Weakest Environmental Values . ** State/Regional Political Culture : Traditionalism (The South): little or no government intrusion--“Non-reception in fostering ecological improvements.”*** Corporatist-influenced Government : Government Decision-Making “mirrors whims of business.” Companies, “outsiders” buy natural resources at bargain prices. Environmental risks were unknown, disregarded--traded for broadened tax base.**** Perception by Law Enforcement, Prosecutors, Courts: “Not a real crime.” “Simply not enforced, or with lowest Priority” Be witnessed for written citation. Limited convictions: “Insufficient evidence or inability’ to recognize evidence.” NO incarcerations!***** Persons of Low-Income, Color (Blacks, Hispanics): : Environmentalism NOT a Priority. Slow to challenge violators. “Mistrust [of government and corporations]…engendered amongst these groups.” “Resented” environmental reforms as misdirecting tax dollars to improve social, economic plights. Movement: “Too white,” “mainstream.”****** *Bisbort; City Image,; Henning; McAndrews; Ockels; U.S. Justice-National Law. ** Hays; White in McAndrew. ***Elazar; Neal; Vig and Kraft. **** Bullard; Camacho; Clarke and Cortner; Feagin and Feagin in Bullard; Miller J.; Miller V.;Sussman, Daynes and West; *****Bisbort; National Center, “Review Laws;” US. Justice- Environmental ; U.S. Justice-National Laws.****** Bullard; Camacho ; Vig and Kraft; Will in Bullard.
  • 6. Southern Litter Source Reduction Activities
    • Physical
    • -Actual Litter/debris Removals by Hired Crews, Inmates, Volunteers
    • -Adopt-a-Highway/Road/Street/Interchange Programs
    • -Statewide Recognized Anti-litter Slogans (except Kentucky)
    • -Environmental Organizations
    • -Some Comprehensive Municipal Curbside Recycling (poor rates)
    • -Litter Source Taxation (Virginia only)
    • Legal
    • -Litter Laws/Statutes
    • -Citation Writing--History of Inopportune, Weak/No Enforcement
    • -Court Prosecutions—Largest Violators Taken Down!
    • -Punishment: Out of Court; Jail Time?
  • 7. The [SECOPA] Southern State Litter Scorecard The attempt to rank ten SeCOPA southern states, using results from The American State Litter Scorecard , for public property environmental outcomes through overall litter removal efforts . Cumulative Objective, Subjective Measures chosen for noteworthiness: Objective : Standing determined using reliable, limited, up-to-date scientific data. Subjective : Standing determined using previous emotive , public-sector supplementary scored evaluations .
  • 8. Objective
    • State Livability Scores
    • States with Litter Taxation
    • States with Beverage Container Laws
    • States with Comprehensive Recycling Laws
    • States with Anti-Litter Slogans
    • Per Capita State/Local Environmental Spending
    • State Per Capita Daily Waste Disposals
    • Percent Litter/Debris-related Fatal Car Accidents
    • Sources: Congressional; Grassy ; Morgan and Morgan; National Solid in Strong; Shireman, McFaddden, Newdorf and Noga;
    • U.S. Transportation; Waste .
  • 9. Subjective ◊ State Political Culture Scale Score ◊ State Public Corruption Conviction Rate ◊ State Government Performance Grade ◊ State Highway Performance Score Sources: Corporate; Haregen and Karanam; Koven and Mausloff; Pew.
  • 10. Methodology Unit of Analysis : Ten American Southeastern-most [SeCOPA] states: Alabama , Arkansas , Georgia , Florida , Kentucky , Louisiana , Mississippi , North Carolina , South Carolina , Tennessee . Data Source Providers: Governments ; Academicians ; Trade Organizations; Think Tanks; Associations — regularly used in competent scholarly research . Scoring Rubric : Created for each objective, subjective factor. Calculated, aggregated by state. Hierarchal rankings, national designations derived from computations.
  • 11. SCORECARD SUMMARY: SeCOPA, Nearby Southern and Selected States Objective Subjective Designation Remarks Mississippi 50 50 WORST 1,2,3,5,6 Louisiana           45         49              WORST           1,,3,5,6       Alabama                 43                       48              WORST                    1,2,3,5,7,8 Arkansas                47                        47             WORST                   1,2,3,5,6 South Carolina          44                    46             WORST                  3,4,5 Tennessee               41                      43               WORST                  3,5 Kentucky                 42                      42            WORST                    2,3,4,6,9 N orth Carolina       40                    41              WORST                  3,5 Georgia             34                       37    BELOW AVERAGE    5 Florida                33                        35       BELOW AVERAGE       6,8 VA 10 10 BEST TX 38 38 BELOW AVERAGE NY 19 24 ABOVE AVERAGE IL 29 32 BELOW AVERAGE OH 25 27 AVERAGE MO 27 25 AVERAGE MI 35 28 BELOW AVERAGE CA 31 36 BELOW AVERAGE WY 5 12 BEST NV 49 44 WORST VT 1 4 BEST MN 4 1 BEST REMARKS: 1=High Litter Fatal Crash Deaths 2=Low Per Person Environ. Spending 3=Poor Statewide Livability 4=High Per Person Waste Disposal Uncitizen -friendly Political Administrative Culture 6=Very High Public Servant Corruption 7=Poor State Gov’t Performance 8=Poor Hwy. Admin. Performance 9=No Anti-Litter Slogan
  • 12. Case Study: Virginia Vs. Mississippi/Louisiana
    • VA MS LA
    • POPULATION (2005 ) 7,567,465 2,921,088 4,523,628
    • LITTER REMOVAL $$ (2006 ) $7Miliion $3.2 Million n/a
    • Locality Grants $1.9 Million
    • VOLUMES COLLECTED(2006 ) over 11,000 tons over 7,987 bags over 200,000 cubic yards
    • PROGRAMS Adopt-A-Highway Adopt- A- Highway Adopt-A-Highway
    • Assign-A-Highway(Inmates) Adopt-An-Interchange Litter Reduction and Public Action
    • Adopt –A—Stream Inmate Litter Removal
    • Clean Virginia Waterways Cigarette Litter Prevention
    • TIMES PROPERTY CLEANED Assign-a-Highway: 26 per year n/a Adopt -A-Highway; 4 times per year
    • ($2500 max fine) ($1000 max fine) ($1000 max fine)
    • DEATHS (2005) 11 34 38
    • Sources: State Agencies and their websites; confidential officials communications; Wikipedia .
  • 13. Conclusion/Recommendations Littering: Remains an harmful Injustice across The South ! Numerous States: “In the rear” or secretive/non-compliant, in providing uniform, categorical litter abatement data for scientific analysis; many are not performing mandated duties paid for or expected with the PEOPLE’ S money. Citizens ARE still losing lives. Laws are not enforced; convictions/fines not tough enough. Polls : Many believe public sector “Not working enough to protect the environment.” The Scorecard : A “call” to REAL action, to eliminate inattentiveness into a poorly probed yet DEADLY matter.