Litter Index

Each summer, Keep Martin Beautiful volunteers set out on a day-long adventure to gauge the amount of litter in Martin County. Known officially as “The Litter Index”, the survey helps Keep America affiliates across the country determine which areas in their communities are in need of improved litter removal.

Keep America Beautiful affiliates often say that looking at litter is the place to begin empowering individuals to enhance their community environments. Assessing the presence of litter in your community—getting the facts—is the first step in the litter prevention education process.

The Keep America Beautiful Litter Index makes litter prevention easier. It is a credible and simple tool that allows quick and reliable visual assessment of the types of litter present in your community. The data obtained through the Litter Index is invaluable in determining the types of community improvement programs needed to address current conditions, and achieve long-term sustainable results.

The Litter Index is designed to measure progress over time. It helps identify what is effective—and what isn't—in positively changing littering attitudes and behaviors and related community improvement issues.

To conduct the survey, Martin County is divided into ten areas within five zones. Volunteers visit each area and provide a score for each location based on the amount of visible litter. Scores range from 1 (virtually no litter) to 4 (extremely littered). The final index for each area is calculated by combining and then averaging the scores compiled by KMB volunteers. The Litter Index serves as an excellent barometer of Martin County’s litter prevention efforts.

The Litter Index was created by the Keep America Beautiful, Inc. “Litter Measurement Technical Committee.” After initial review and field-testing, Keep America Beautiful local and state affiliates have utilized it every year to assess changing conditions in the communities they serve.