ONE MOBILE LITTER FREE
Business View – September 2021 / Business News
The Mobile Area Chamber is one of 14 inaugural supporters of the City of Mobile’s comprehensive anti-litter campaign, “Litter Free Mobile.”
Like other communities around the country, Mobile saw an increase in litter over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and is still seeing the impact of that today.
To correct this, the city is using its newly created chief resilience officer (CRO) position, held by Casi Callaway, to leverage existing partnerships with nonprofits, businesses, community groups and local schools to attack the litter problem head-on.
“There are significant costs associated with solving a problem that can be prevented,” says Callaway. She estimates litter costs the city $10 million annually in equipment and staff time.
But prevention is not the first step, according to the plan released in July. The initiative will use education, prevention, collection and enforcement to target litter in the community.
“First comes education,” Callaway says. “What do people need to know so they don’t litter?”
Consistent messaging about the negative effects of litter on our environment, economy and quality of life, matched with the positive actions of local groups and businesses, will be key tactics of the education component.
In the area of prevention, the city is working to develop better rules and regulations for managing litter and reducing garbage. “We also want to rethink how the city works to prevent and respond to litter – this includes everything from how we provide services to where we place trash cans and dumpsters,” she adds.
Collection ties closely into prevention. If you see cigarette butts in a corner of your parking lot, a collection container is a simple solution, Callaway says. For the city’s role, she wants the city to target known “hot spots.”
Enforcement is a last resort. These efforts are being backed by technology to detect and monitor areas being used as dump sites.
“There is no shortage of groups already working toward this goal, and it’s the city’s job to connect and support them in those efforts while empowering businesses and residents to do the same,” says Mayor Sandy Stimpson.
About the Mobile Chamber
The Mobile Chamber is a private business organization with more than 1,700 members and the economic developer for the City of Mobile and Mobile County. The Mobile Chamber’s focus is to provide members with networking, marketing and professional development opportunities, expand jobs in the area, develop the local workforce, advocate legislative priorities and offer resources to help small businesses grow. Additional information is on the Chamber’s website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.