Longview, TX (July 13, 2015) – Keep Longview Beautiful conducted the Litter Index on July 10,2015, a tool designed by Keep America Beautiful to visually assess the overall appearance of communities through indicators such as litter, illegal signs, graffiti, abandoned/junk vehicles and outside storage. A team of community, business and government representatives conducted the visual analysis using a scoring system ranging from 1-4, with “1” being the best to “4” being the worst. The Litter Index for Longview rated 1.75.

“The Litter Index is designed to gather data annually and the results are used to develop a local plan to change attitudes and behaviors regarding litter and related community improvement issues. The Index helps direct the local education and litter prevention, beautification, and waste reduction and recycling programs. Keep America Beautiful uses the information to identify national trends regarding community improvement issues,” states Keep America Beautiful President & CEO Jennifer Jehn.

Involving community representatives in the process is important to achieve partnership solutions and to promote individual responsibility, ownership and pride in results. Longview’s Litter Index is assessed by evaluating sixty different areas in our community. Local improvements have been made to the Litter Index tool by involving the City of Longview’s GIS department. The sixty stops were reconfigured from previous years to actually ‘route’ the stops in the most efficient way possible. Rerouting the Litter Index gave scorers the chance to look at several areas in Longview in a broader manner. Longview’s Litter Index number is slightly increased from last year (2014=1.68 2015=1.75). .Several factors may go into this increase:

  1. Longview’s growth continues. Often, more population and visitors means an increase in litter and waste.
  2. Education about trash and litter is important. Citizens need to remember that Longview, Texas is undeniably one of the most beautiful parts of the finest state in the nation. To keep East Texas beautiful citizens must remember throwing trash into public and private areas is never a good way to show community pride and passion.

Kim Droege, Executive Director of Keep Longview Beautiful commented, “Litter attracts litter and is a serious environmental issue. Individuals are more likely to litter in a dirty area. By contrast, a clean community discourages littering and greatly improves overall quality of life. Changing a common behavior, like littering, starts with all of us. Each person must accept responsibility for their actions and influence the acts of others at home, at school, in your place of business, and in the community at large.”

Keep Longview Beautiful will soon have oversight of a new Adopt A Street campaign to help combat litter issues in our community. Passionate citizens interested in a cleaner, greener Longview are asked to contact Keep Longview Beautiful at KLB@LongviewTexas.gov. For more information about the Litter Index please visit KeepLongviewBeautiful.org.

Rhodora Bivens, David Simmons, Billy Lee, Jan Simmons, Dionne Lott, Mike Wigington and Kim Droege