Guillory: Litter knows no boundries, no prejudices
Keep Greater Lake Charles Beautiful: Team Green hosted its 22nd annual Litter Awareness and Prevention Luncheon Thursday at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Team Green members, local dignitaries, area schools and business partners gathered to honor community members who have made a significant impact towards the city’s beautification and also received in-depth insight into how litter impacts Southwest Louisiana and the entire state.
Eligha Guillory, guest speaker and board member of Keep Louisiana Beautiful, said litter is a problem in Louisiana that knows “no boundaries and no prejudices.” Beyond simply the ugly appearance of trash, he said litter has a social, environmental and economic impact that is often larger than most people realize.
Municipal, parish and state agencies spend $40 million a year in litter abatement efforts and spend even more cleaning up the aftermath of improper waste disposal, he said.
Guillory said litter indirectly hurts communities by contributing to decreasing property values, the loss of tourism and the loss of new businesses.
“Carelessly discarding garbage affects every member of society,” he said. “A litterblighted community is a direct reflection of the people who live there.”
Preventing litter from ever starting is important, Guillory said, because “litter begets litter.”
“Once litter exists on a site, others are more likely to not only litter but to otherwise damage the property,” he said.
Team Green works to prevent litter at early age through its district competitions. During the luncheon, Vincent Settlement Elementary School was awarded the top prize in the district telephone book recycling contest and Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School won first for the cleanest campus.
Mayor Nic Hunter said partnerships like those between city and schools, nonprofits and businesses are a great examples how communities can improve public spaces without adding a single tax dollar to anyone.
“We can do so much more when we work together,” he said. “Any community that is going to realize it’s true potential is going to honor those spaces.”