Tired of everything from tossed candy wrappers to abandoned appliances junking up the state, Georgia officials are launching a statewide effort to go after litterbugs, reports the Morris News Service. “Litter is ugly–plain and simple,” Gov. Sonny Perdue said Tuesday. “It shows a lack of respect for our surroundings, and as of today it is under a coordinated attack.” More than 200 representatives from local governments, environmental groups and law enforcement agencies attended a two-day summit in Atlanta on the problem.
Perdue announced a statewide anti-litter campaign, backed by a trash-bag-toting cartoon bird to encourage cleanups in addition to a new state law that implements harsher penalties for offenders. Though the state has had similar campaigns in the past – “Let’s Keep Georgia Peachy Clean” for example – the new effort is intended to improve coordination among state and local agencies. Dubbed “Litter. It costs you,” the effort will include television commercials showing the impact of trashy roadways and riverbeds. Officials hope city and county officials will take litter enforcement seriously by funding enforcement and creating environmental courts to increase the number of citations that are prosecuted.