Study finds Rockford ‘slightly’ littered

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Winnebago/Rockford Clean & Beautiful announces the results of a Litter Index Survey that was conducted during the Fall of 2006 by MBA students at Rockford College.

The Rockford community scored an average of 2.1, “slightly littered,” with industrial areas and commercial districts showing the highest levels of litter. Residential areas were found to be the cleanest. The students attributed high levels of litter to a perceived lack of ownership in an area, and a high volume of traffic near commercial shopping centers.

The goal of the Litter Index Project was to provide a base-line litter measurement for the Rockford area that could be used to track annual trends in litter, identify needs for public awareness, and determine appropriate types of litter prevention programs.

“Good data is necessary for our litter prevention efforts to be more effective,” said Lori Gummow, executive director of Winnebago/Rockford Clean & Beautiful.

The team of students, including Mark Anderson, Earl Dotson Jr., Cory Gehrke and Sheri Mace, surveyed a large cross-section of Rockford Township, assessing 177 locations on a scale of 1-4, 1 being litter-free and 4 being extremely littered.

“It’s important that we pay attention to things like litter,” said Winnebago County Chairman Scott Christiansen, who supported the survey. “Litter may seem minor, but it has a big impact on the way our community is perceived.”

Winnebago/Rockford Clean & Beautiful is a nonprofit organization whose areas of focus include litter prevention, waste reduction, and community beautification and improvement.

from the March 21-28, 2007, issue

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