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Municipal Litter and Illegal Dumping Cost Research

Keep America Beautiful | Stamford, CT | Completed: 2010

Municipal Litter and Illegal Dumping Cost Research | KAB-2007_0530Litter0014

MSW Consultants gained significant experience researching the true costs of litter and illegal dumping which are borne by municipalities based on a national survey. However, this survey effort revealed that litter and illegal dumping costs – for education, prevention, and remediation – are hidden within multiple departments within the typical local government. Consequently, Keep America Beautiful retained MSW Consultants to perform detailed research into the breadth of litter and illegal dumping costs for three KAB local affiliates.

Working with KAB and the Albuquerque (NM), Ocala (FL) and Lewisville (TX) local affiliates, MSW Consultants developed a spreadsheet-based data collection instrument and an accompanying research process to systematically uncover and document litter and illegal dumping costs. The process involved identifying a "project champion" within each of the local affiliates, and then working with this municipal or local affiliate staff person to systematically interview department heads within all of the operating departments believed to expend resources on litter and/or illegal dumping. MSW Consultants worked with each local staff person to compile reported costs as well as estimates of resource usage from the public works, sanitation, police, parks and recreation, and other departments known to perform education, prevention, enforcement and clean-up.

Results of this effort were presented at the 2010 KAB National Conference.