Keep Lakeland Beautiful
Community Appearance Index Results Released
In the spring of 2014, “Keep Lakeland Beautiful” began the journey to become an affiliate of the Keep America Beautiful program and only the second in Shelby County. This program aims to supplement the City’s beautification, recycling, and litter efforts.
On April 1st, 2014, Keep Lakeland Beautiful conducted a Community Appearance Index which is a visual assessment of the overall appearance of Lakeland through indicators such as litter, illegal signs, abandoned/junk vehicles and outside storage. The goal of the Community Appearance Index was to gather data to help develop a local plan to change attitudes and behaviors regarding litter and related community improvement issues.
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 Lakeland rated over a 2, which is classified as “slightly littered” to “littered.”
“Involving community volunteers in this process has been vital. It is so important to achieve partnership solutions by educating and promoting individual responsibility, ownership and pride in our city,” stated Vice Mayor Sherri Gallick.
Lakeland is aiming to reduce clean-up costs and keep taxes low by targeting several problems including cigarette litter. Cigarette butt waste cleanup is very costly to taxpayers including removing them from the water supply.
Keep Lakeland Beautiful is giving away free pocket ashtrays as well as ashtrays that fit in a car drink holder. Residents can visit Lakeland City Hall to pick-up these free items.
Sherri Gallick commented, “We have also been working diligently to educate the public on the cost of litter because keeping our city clean is essential to economic development. Nobody would throw money out of a car window, but people throw out litter. Litter cost the taxpayers thousands every year. I am confident by adding focus on litter prevention; our city will become the beautiful vibrant city it is meant to be.”
About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With a strong national network of 1,200 affiliate and partners including state recycling organizations, the national nonprofit works with millions of volunteers who take action in their communities. Keep America Beautiful offers solutions that create clean, beautiful public places, reduce waste and increase recycling, inspire generations of environmental stewards and generate positive impact on local economies. Through our programs and public-private partnerships, we engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. For more information, visit www.kab.org