Reducing litter: City of Wichita and WSU to conduct study to help local leaders

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The City of Wichita announced Thursday that The Environmental Finance Center at Wichita State University is partnering with the Wichita City Council task force to conduct a study of litter in Wichita. The study aims to help local leaders and community groups make decisions about how to reduce litter.

Community members can volunteer to participate in a litter collection event by clicking here.

The study will engage volunteers to collect and document the type of material, condition, and quantity of litter from 12 locations within city limits. Each litter collection event will provide data points to help the city understand what types of litter are most common and how it builds over time. The clean-up locations represent a variety of terrain, land use, and surrounding activities. Many are near a waterway or storm drain that leads to the Arkansas River. 

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Trash Free Waters Program estimates that at least 80-percent of trash in waterways comes from land-based sources. Improperly disposed solid waste threatens the health of drinking water, soils for farming, wildlife, aquatic ecosystems, public health, and the economy. The Wichita Litter Study will help determine the impact of trash on Wichita’s land, creeks, rivers, and streams.

Analyses of the data collected, and additional data provided by the city and community, will provide a big-picture snapshot of litter in Wichita. Analyses can also show potential environmental and community impacts over time and inform possible intervention policies or program implementation.

This project has been funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement AI97756601 to Wichita State University Environmental Finance Center. The project does not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does the EPA endorse trade names or recommend the use of commercial products.

Anyone with questions about the study may email Michelle Dehaven with the WSU Environmental Finance Center Program.

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