Local cigarette litter prevention program receives national recognition

Hot Springs wins first place

The Hot Springs/Garland County Beautification Commission (HSGCBC) has won a first-place national award for its Cigarette Litter Prevention Program from Keep America Beautiful.

“We have observed a 33-percent decrease in the amount of general litter in areas where this program has been implemented,” said Adam Roberts, executive director HSGCBC, a certified local affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. “Public education about cigarette litter prevention has positively influenced behavior toward all types of littering and is encouraging individuals to put all their trash where it belongs.”

With financial support from a Keep America Beautiful grant, the Hot Springs beautification organization studied 12 sites over an 11-week period and reported a 68-percent reduction in cigarette litter at sites featuring public education, signage and ash receptacles compared with control sites without those components.

“Congratulations to the Hot Springs/Garland County Beautification Commission for winning this national award,” said Robert Phelps, director of Keep Arkansas Beautiful and Arkansas’ state leader for Keep America Beautiful. “The commission’s efforts through this program have demonstrated that, with public education, Arkansans can change their perspectives about littering and will make the right decisions to put waste where it belongs.”

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