Why Do People Litter?

Litter gets blown around by wind and traffic or until it gets carried by water. It moves until it’s trapped by a curb, building or a fence. Once litter has accumulated, it invites people to add more litter to it!

Why do people litter?

  • They feel no sense of ownership – even though parks and forests are public property.
  • They believe someone else will pick up after them.
  • Because the area is already littered.

What is the source of litter?

  • Household trash placed at the curb for collection
  • Dumpsters used by businesses
  • Loading docks
  • Construction and demolition sites
  • Trucks with uncovered loads
  • Pedestrians
  • Motorists


  • Set an example by not littering yourself!
  • Teach others why it’s important not to litter
  • Remember that public areas are yours to enjoy and care for.
  • Hike only where there are trails
  • Have your school class make a list of different public areas and what they are used for. Visit them to see how they serve the community’s needs.
  • Invite someone from a local park or nature center to visit your class and speak about the importance of caring for public areas and using them wisely.
  • Organize a group project to repair playground equipment, build benches or improve a neglected area.


  • Make each day a litter-free event!
  • Carry a litterbag in your car.
  • Make sure trash cans have lids that can be securely fastened.
  • Don’t put loose trash in boxes.
  • Cover open loads on all trucks.
  • Make litterbags for your bicycle too and give them to your friends.
  • Volunteer to help organize a cleanup.
  • Report to local authorities any areas where people have illegally dumped garbage and debris.
  • Check dumpsters every day to see that top and side doors are closed.


You can help Keep Orange County Beautiful!

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