MARION COUNTY – Few residents may be aware that it’s illegal to litter in Marion County. If you’re caught tossing litter, the police can stop you and issue a warning or fine you $45 to $500. Rather than only focus on the penalties, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) partnered with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) to help change the city’s attitude about littering, with a focus on area youth.
To build awareness about littering, the “Every Litter Bit Helps Video Contest” was launched by IMPD and KIB in partnership with Reconnecting to Our Waterways (ROW), the Indianapolis Colts, Eli Lilly and Company and Endangered Species Chocolate.
In October, Marion County high school students were invited to create videos, 30 seconds in length that explain why residents should not litter.
The top three winners were selected from seven entries from five schools:
First Place: “Hyper Fan” by Decatur Central High School
Grand Prize: 20 tickets to the December 9, 2012, Indianapolis Colts game vs. Tennessee Titans and video shown at the game. Additional prizes: $1,000 from Lilly for school audio-visual department and free Endangered Species chocolate for team members every month for one year.
Second Place: “Every Litter Bit Helps” by Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School
Prizes: $600 from Lilly for school audio-visual department and free Endangered Species chocolate for team members every month for one year.
Third Place: “Keep Indianapolis Beautiful” by International School of Indiana
Prizes: $400 from Lilly for school audio-visual department and free Endangered Species chocolate for team members every month for one year.
Earlier this year, KIB reported picking up 1.5 million pounds of litter and debris during its annual Great Indy Cleanup. According to KIB, litter creates an impression that a place is neglected, disrespected and more vulnerable to criminal activity. In particular, cigarette butts, the most prevalent form of litter, are toxic waste that ends up in storm drains and eventually our waterways and drinking water.
“Litter is no small matter when it comes to valuing our neighborhoods and protecting our overall community health,” said Keep Indianapolis Beautiful President David Forsell. “We applaud the City and IMPD for creating greater consequences for offenders while educating young people about litter’s harmful impact.”
For more information and to view all video entries, visit www.kibi.org/litter.