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) has 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 today by IMPD and KIB in partnership with Reconnecting to Our Waterways (ROW), the Indianapolis Colts and Endangered Species Chocolate.
Marion County high school students are invited to create videos, 30 seconds in length that explain why residents should not litter.
“By targeting high school students, we want to motivate and educate this generation about the harmful effects of littering and prevent future offenders,” said IMPD Commander Bryan Roach. “Students can use their creativity to motivate each other and have fun while giving back to the community.”
The process and prizes
Schools or students can download a simple application from www.kibi.org/litter. Video entries are due November 9 and may be uploaded via YouTube links to the same Web site. IMPD, KIB and ROW will select one video finalist from each high school and each finalist team will receive free Endangered Species Chocolate each month for one year. From these finalists, the top three videos will receive cash prizes for their respective school. The grand prize winner receives 20 tickets to the Dec. 9 home Colts football game where the winning video will be previewed throughout the game. The winning video will also be used throughout the community 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, visit www.kibi.org/litter.
Reconnecting to Our Waterways (ROW) is a grassroots movement that is helping neighbors strengthen waterways, and in turn, helping waterways strengthen neighborhoods. ROW is focused on neighborhoods within a 10-minute walk (half-mile) or 20-minute bike ride (three miles) surrounding six major waterways: White River, Fall Creek, Eagle Creek, Central Canal, Pogue’s Run and Pleasant Run. With more than 100 partners, ROW actively seeks participation from stakeholders who live and work closest to the waterways and supports projects that have a lasting, meaningful impact. Creating access to art, nature and beauty; boosting economic development; improving our environment; educating the public about clean water; and creating a higher quality of life for all are among ROW’s long-term goals. Additional information about ROW is available at www.ourwaterways.org.
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