The City of Roanoke has implemented a “no littering” campaign, asking citizens to refrain from throwing things like cigarette butts on the ground. This isn’t something new. Actually, Roanoke’s Clean and Green initiative has been in place since 2007. But it does require a new attitude from city residents who still haven’t gotten the message: Don’t Litter. To this end, Roanoke has joined forces with Roanoke County to emphasize the importance of litter awareness in our community.
Who wouldn’t agree that a cleaner, greener Roanoke is a more desirable location for our residents? And we all want to attract visitors and businesses to our beautiful city. But there are challenges, and everyone must get on board. Over the past seven years, the city has been educating our community about the importance of environmental stewardship. But in 2011, a new factor was added: Stormwater.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) enacted new mandates that impose more stringent restrictions on water quality and require action to bring that quality into compliance. This makes it more important than ever to keep our city and its water sources clean. What does that have to do with littering? Everything! Trash like cigarette butts thrown on the ground end up in storm drains and flow to rivers and streams.
The city has been working to find solutions that will make a difference not only in the environment, but in stormwater as well. One approach is the signs that have been placed in strategic areas where trash is a problem. With phrases like “No Ifs, Ands, or Butts” and “Butt What?”, the city is hoping these signs will catch residents’ eyes and remind them not to throw trash on the ground.
The next time you see one of these signs, it’s okay to snicker. As long as you toss that cigarette butt or piece of paper into the trash can. Help us keep Roanoke and its rivers and streams clean.