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Lake Ouachita Cigarette Litter Prevention Program:
We are off and running! The largest Cigarette Litter Prevention Program study in America is now in full swing with 42 sites randomized to have interventions or be placebo sites. This exciting program has already received full funding from Keep America Beautiful in the sum of $5,000 in cash and almost another $5,000 in materials. The Corps of Engineers is a full active partner assisting in the development, implementation, and staffing of this massive study. New and unique interventions include both English and Spanish language brochures and bilingual site signage. This project has already garnered extensive media coverage with two newspaper stories, radio coverage and at least one TV spot.
Solar Powered Commission:
The Commission’s information booth is now off the grid, thanks to a grant from the Hot Springs Giving Circle. By powering our booth with this advanced solar system we have become fully energy independent allowing a broader, better interaction using our laptop, LCD screen and even the LCD projector to communicate our message of environmental awareness to the people of Garland County at any site. We will be showing the people of Garland County the current state of the technology and fairly demonstrating the true viability in both negative and positive terms for their own possible usage in the home and/or business situations.
There is another significant advantage to having this array in the County; we will make it know that the array is available on immediate and free loan to any city or county service needing it in an emergency.
Solar Powered Recycling Compactor:
Hot Springs is now using 21st century technology to launch the first solar-powered recycling compactor in the state, through a partnership between the Hot Springs/Garland County Beautification Commission and the Hot Springs Giving Circle. The device was placed at Hill Wheatley Plaza in downtown Hot Springs, a location where high volumes of recyclable plastic are deposited into recycling containers during times of high visitor volume. During the Beautification Commission's recent "Save Our Water - Catch the Plastic" campaign where 26 large recycling units resembling giant plastic bottles were placed in every park in Garland County along with other selected sites, each site was evaluated after an eight-week period. Hill Wheatley Plaza not only had double the average amount of plastic recycled of any other measured location, but the unit could not keep up with the amount of plastic during times of high foot traffic. In answer to this problem, the Commission researched and found a solar-powered compaction unit that could hold up to five times as much Type 1 plastic as the current recycling unit. The unit will reduce the number of times it requires emptying, thus significantly reducing fuel costs, wear and tear, and carbon emissions. Click article to view.
Cigarette Litter Prevention Programs:
The Beautification Commission just completed our third year of implementing a Keep America Beautiful funded roadside litter study in Garland County. The 2010 program was based on the Martin Luther King bypass. We monitored the effect of different levels of signage, interaction with free tools such as pocket or portable ashtrays, and other interventions to once again positively alter behaviors and make a difference in our local environment. A definite correlation between reduced litter in areas with signage, as much as 35% for cigarette litter and a 26% reduction in other litter in comparison to the areas without signage.
Our follow-up work at the old and new Farmer’s Market sites has also come to an end with the report filed with Keep America Beautiful on another successful program. The Farmer’s Market area has seen a reduction in cigarette litter of over 87% due to the intervention measures implemented there, including signage, a smoker’s only area and cigarette ash urn supplied by the Beautification Commission.
A pre and post-intervention survey was conducted at site areas. The survey results show a change in public opinion with 54% more people considering cigarettes on the streets and sidewalk as litter, 41% more people noticing litter signage and 44% more people noticing that these signs included cigarette specific wording/images.
Executive Director of the Beautification Commission serves on the National Cigarette Litter Prevention Program Advisory Council, helping Keep America Beautiful to run twenty-four US and one Canadian CLPP programs by advising, collecting reports and reviewing the final data.
The Beautification Commission is off on a new venture with Keep Arkansas Beautiful. The venture is funded by a grant from the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation. The aim is to visit all cites in Arkansas with cigarette litter programs to highlight the importance of these programs by focusing on the arrival of our own Butt-Mobile!
Keep your butts where they belong with a FREE POCKET ASHTRAY (Arkansas Residents Only). Click here to receive yours today!
To hear our
Save our Water – Catch the Plastic! Is the name of the newest and one of the most exciting programs the Beautification Commission has ever launched. The project is funded by a $10,000 grant from United Parcel Service through Keep America Beautiful. It includes 26 custom produced 100% recycled plastic recycling units (shaped like giant beverage bottles), signage, advertising, and a new 30 second TV commercial. All these feature Petunia, a mythical Arkansas Fish who tells everybody not to throw plastic into the lake, but recycle it! The recycling units are placed in city, county, state and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers parks around Garland County. The project also included a study of the amount of plastic collected and litter counts at the sites to see if there is a corresponding reduction in litter. Using the Keep America Beautiful Litter Index system, a 33% reduction in litter has been reported at the sites. Over 170 bags of plastic have been recycled.
Kelsey Ramsey, Program Director
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