Preventing litter

Our "Litter and It Will Hurt" outreach campaign, reporting hotline, and litter studies ended in 2009 due to state budget cuts. Fortunately, the State Legislature restored funding for the statewide litter prevention campaign earlier this year!

In 2020, we will reestablish the reporting hotline at 1-866-LITTER1, develop a website with an online reporting tool, and launch a comprehensive media campaign. We are also working closely with partners across the state to plan promotion and enforcement activities.

We're excited to be working at full capacity to pick up litter that is defacing our community and prevent litter from becoming a nuisance in the first place.   

Litter and It Will Hurt

The Litter and It Will Hurt campaign will relaunch in 2020! This successful education and outreach campaign previously included television and radio ads, a hotline to report littering, posters and billboards, and brochures. The program messaging was direct and effective: statistics show littering was reduced by 25 percent during the campaign.

Litter hotline

The outreach campaign also included highway signage and a litter hotline to report violators. Members of the public could report littering by calling 1-866-LITTER1 (866-548-8371). 

Some signs remain along Washington roadways. The message is a good reminder of the fines and penalties that face those who litter. If someone calls to report a violator, they hear a recorded message saying the program was discontinued due to budget cuts.

The Washington State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies continue to enforce Washington’s laws if they observe or receive reports of littering.

Litter studies

Researching how much material is littered, what types of material ends up as litter, and where people are littering helps inform litter prevention efforts. Our next litter study will occur in 2021.

Past studies