How to Reduce Litter

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Four simple ways to keep Brevard (and the lagoon) beautiful.

Living in Brevard County means enjoying the great outdoors year-round. It’s not uncommon to find us at the beach in December, taking a stroll in our tank tops, shorts and sandals.

Although the weather allows us to enjoy the outdoors nearly any time, the trash doesn’t. Billions of tons of litter end up in oceans and waterways every year — causing illness or death of seabirds and marine life.

In Brevard County, litter left on the ground can impact our wildlife and our wallets. Litter can be carried to storm drains. If it’s large, it can block the flow of water, causing flooding and causing you (the taxpayer) money. If the litter is small enough to fall through the cracks, it enters the underground pipes that lead to storm water ponds and, eventually, to the lagoon (or the St. Johns River).

Fortunately, there are simple actions you can take to keep Brevard (and the lagoon) beautiful.

man dropping trash into bin

Be part of the change by following these three steps.

reduce litter


Trash receptacles can be found at every public park throughout Brevard County, storefronts, and even along the streets of your own neighborhood. Take the time to locate the trashcans at the places you frequent — it’s worth it.

Throwing trash away not only helps to protect the lagoon and the marine life who call it home — it also helps you maintain your property’s value. In fact, 93 percent of homeowners say a littered neighborhood would decrease their assessment of a home’s value and influence their decision to purchase a property. Additionally, 60 percent of property appraisers would reduce a home’s value if it was in a littered area.¹ Help the litter go down and the value of your home stay up.

Another way to reduce litter in your neighborhood is by securing your garbage can lid, especially on windy days. A simple bin strap can ensure trash stays where it belongs — in the garbage.

Each year, more than 51 billion pieces of litter end up on U.S. roads, bringing annual litter cleanup costs to nearly $11.5 billion.1


Cigarettes may look small, but they can carry big consequences for smokers — and the environment. Most cigarette filters contain plastic and take a long time to degrade. Cigarette filters also carry toxins that can be hazardous, especially if animals were to mistake cigarette butt litter for food.

Although it’s one of the smallest pieces of litter, cigarette butts, including cigar tips, are a top item collected during local cleanups. All that litter can have an impact on the places in which we live — it's unsightly, it's harmful to the lagoon and wildlife, and it's costly to clean up.

Ash receptacles are the safest way to dispose of a cigarette. If there are none nearby, however, extinguish the ember on cigarettes in a grinding manner, then put the butt in the trash.

litter river cleanup


The more litter there is, the more costly it becomes to clean up. Each year, more than 51 billion pieces of litter end up on U.S. roads, bringing annual litter cleanup costs to nearly $11.5 billion. These costs get passed onto businesses, local/state governments, schools, and other organizations.1

What can you do to help?

Many local organizations host roadway or beachside clean-ups. Such events are a great way to meet like-minded friends, and show children or grandchildren the impact they can make — as an individual and as part of a greater community.

hazardous waste paint oil


Never bury, dump or burn chemicals, automotive fluids or electronic products. Improper disposal of hazardous waste can drain into storm drains and flow into waterways, killing fish and other animals. It can even seep through the soil and into ground water.

Recycle used oil and other automotive fluids at participating service stations. Additionally, Brevard County operates three Household Hazardous Waste Collection Centers. Corrosive, reactive, flammable and toxic waste brought to these collection centers are either recycled, reused, or sent to permitted hazardous waste management facilities for safe disposal.

Report illicit discharge or illegal dumping by email or phone: (321) 633-2014.

Why This Matters to All of Us

Throwing trash away isn’t just a nice thing to do. It’s the law.

Fines start at $50 and can be as harsh as a felony charge. Keep Brevard Beautiful has made it easy to discreetly report a litter bug. Just dial *KBB to leave a message for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department with the offender's license plate number.

Reduce litter by throwing away your trash and other trash you spot. Not just for yourself, but for your children and grandchildren.

It can help to uphold your property value, protect marine life and keep the lagoon clean.



Earn local discounts by volunteering for a shoreline litter cleanup.
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Let’s Be Clear…Reduce Litter FAQs

Trash receptacles exist in every public park throughout the County, at storefronts, and even lining the streets in your own neighborhood. As a back-up plan, however, consider leaving a reusable bag in your car. You can then use it to collect any trash you create while away from home — and properly dispose of it when you return. It’s a simple way that we can all take responsibility for the trash we produce.

Consider how your actions could help the wildlife who didn’t put the trash there either. Each year, plastic debris causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds throughout the U.S. — and more than 100,000 marine mammals.

Additionally, the more litter that exists, the more it costs to clean up. Each year, more than 51 billion pieces of litter end up on U.S. roads, bringing annual litter cleanup costs to nearly $11.5 billion.1 When you do your part to reduce litter, you’re also doing your part to reduce potential costs that get passed onto businesses, local/state governments, schools, and other organizations.

1 “Litter in America.” kab.org, Keep America Beautiful, January 2010, https://www.kab.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/LitterinAmerica_FactSheet_CostsofLittering.pdf.

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