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Wichita State University and City of Wichita to Conduct Litter Study

4/22/2021
Contact: Michelle DeHaven, Program Associate |

Wichita Litter Study aims to help local leaders make decisions about how to reduce litter in Wichita

(Wichita, KS) 4/15/21— 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 at www.wichita.edu/wichitalitterstudy.

"It's crucial that we understand the source of litter in Wichita," said Wichita City Council Member Becky Tuttle. "As we work toward making Wichita the best it can be, we must address material blight found throughout the city and work to find ways to address and prevent littering."

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% 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.

"It remains critically important that we keep trash from entering our waterways here in the Heartland," said Acting EPA Region 7 Administrator Ed Chu. "I'm glad to see the Wichita litter study move forward and know the data collected and the partnerships built through this effort will help keep waters trash-free."

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.

"We hope the Wichita Litter Study becomes a baseline to measure the impact of future litter reduction programs by. This project also has potential to be replicated in other locations or waterways across the Wichita metro area," said Tonya Bronleewe, Director of the Environmental Finance Center.

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.

If you have questions about the study, please contact Michelle Dehaven, WSU Environmental Finance Center Program Associate.

About the WSU Environmental Finance Center
The WSU Environmental Finance Center (EFC) is one of 10 Environmental Finance Centers located across the country that provide communities with professional training, technical assistance and applied research to bolster efforts to manage the costs of environmental protection for the public. For more information, visit www.wichita.edu/efc.

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