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Litter Prevention


Learn more about Litter...

There are many ways individuals and business owners can support litter prevention.

  • Educate employees, patrons, customers, and members about litter.
  • Post or display the "Don't trash" campaign or other educational materials in your place of business.
  • In your place of business, provide plenty of containers for trash and recycling.
  • Organize, support, or join a litter clean up.
  • Do not host or support events that intentionally release balloons.  Balloons can become trapped in branches or power lines and eventually return to earth as litter.
  • Set an example for others, especially family, co-workers, friends, and children.  If you see litter, pick it up.
  • Organize, support, or join a litter clean-up.
  • Keep a car litter bag.  Do not throw trash, food waste, or cigarette waste out of vehicle windows.
  • Secure belongings inside your vehicle to prevent unintentional littering when your windows are open.
  • Use a pocket ashtray if you smoke.
  • Make sure your trash cans have tight-fitting lids or are not easily opened by wildlife.
  • Do not intentionally release balloons.  They return to earth as litter.

Since 1999, the Friends of the James River Park System (FOJRPS) has brought together citizen volunteers passionate about advocating for the health of the James River. With about two million visitors a year, the James River Park is the most visited park in Richmond (Source: FOJRPS). The park is a major asset to the region, but more visitors means the potential for more liter making it into the river. The organization coordinates volunteer opportunities to clean up trash and invasive species. Furthermore, FOJRPS provides essential tools necessary for groups to organize their own cleanup events (i.e., trash grabbers, trash bags, etc.). For more information on volunteer opportunities please visit. 

Since 1971, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has worked to preserve the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The group's mission is "to bring together communities, companies, and conservationists to improve our lands and waters" (Source: Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay). Citizens can join the alliance as a volunteer and participate in a stream cleanup. For more information on Project Clean Stream cleanup events please visit this website. 

Keep Virginia Beautiful (KVB) is an organization that aims to improve the state's natural environment through litter prevention efforts. Since the 1950's KVB has promoted a clean and litter-free environment through community outreach and education across the state of Virginia. Through collaboration with state agencies and local organizations, KVB strives to "empower groups and individuals to engage in environmental projects through grants, contests, events, and training so that the collective effort keeps Virginia beautiful for generations to come" (Source: Keep Virginia Beautiful). For more information on KVB and local events please visit the website.

The James River Advisory Council (JRAC) envisions "a healthy, beautiful, economically vital and accessible James River that is cared for by a diverse and engaged community that acts on its behalf" (Source: JRAC). The council's members aim to protect and promote the James River through education, outreach, and coordination throughout the region. To learn more about the different ways to volunteer through JRAC please visit the website. 

Hull Street Action is a community organized focused on various efforts to preserve the Hull Street corridor in Richmond, Virginia. The group is "dedicated to building a healthy and inclusive community where all residents can live, work and thrive" (Source: Hull Street Action). For more information on Hull Street Action and the different cleanup events, they organize please visit the website.

RVA Clean Sweep is a volunteer group based in Richmond, Virginia. the Gropu utilizes the online platform, Meetup, organizes cleanups, and educates community members on the importance of litter preservation. For more information on the RVA Clean Sweep and to sign up for an event please their meetup page.

The James River Association (JRA) seeks to protect the James River and all of its natural, cultural, and recreational assets. Litter prevention is key to promoting a healthy and thriving river. The JRA provides resources for those who wish to take action through a variety of volunteer opportunities. To locate a volunteer opportunity along the James River important to you please visit the following webpage. 

Did You Know?

Balloon Release Ban

On June 29, 2021, the state of Virginia outlawed balloon releases outdoors. There is a $25 fine per balloon purposely released. Balloon releases pose a significant threat to the environment and wildlife species that often go unnoticed.

For more information please visit our marine debris page.

The Dangers of Marine Debris

Marine debris, or marine litter, can enter the ocean directly by being thrown in or indirectly by being swept in by the wind. This is especially dangerous to water quality as well as wildlife species. To learn more about marine debris please visit the page here.

Ongoing Activities

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay partners with local organizations and businesses on Project Clean Stream, a seasonal clean-up campaign across the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed. Use the Project Clean Stream Portal to find a clean-up near you!

Keep Virginia Beautiful, a litter prevention and education organization established the Adopt-a-Highway program in 1988. Groups of all kinds adopt two miles along Virginia highways and pick up litter at least twice a year for three years. Adopting is free and all necessary tools are provided.