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Fighting Litter in Your Neighborhood *

Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.


Is there a public park, playground, or beach near you that suffers from a litter problem? Here is a way that you can do something about it! First, get a measure of the size of the problem by conducting a litter survey. Select a fraction of the area to survey at regular intervals (e.g., every two or three days, or maybe once a week). The area should be large enough so that you can get a representative sample of litter, but not so large that you can't clean it up. Each time you conduct your survey, collect all of the litter within your sample area. Count or weigh each type of litter, and keep track of your results in your lab notebook. Which is the most common type of litter? Have your parents, your teacher, and local community groups help to publicize your results. For example, you could post signs on the trash containers listing how much litter the park gets per week, reminding people to clean up after themselves. See if your local Parks Department can help. Maybe they can organize a cleanup day with help from your community. Does the park stay cleaner after your efforts? (Idea from Cannon, 2005)

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Science Buddies Staff. "Fighting Litter in Your Neighborhood" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 30 June 2014. Web. 25 Oct. 2014 <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/EnvEng_p020.shtml>

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2014, June 30). Fighting Litter in Your Neighborhood. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/EnvEng_p020.shtml

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Last edit date: 2014-06-30


Cannon, K.B., 2005. "What Is the Most Commonly Found Litter on the Beach?" California State Science Fair Abstract [accessed June 20, 2006] http://www.usc.edu/CSSF/History/2005/Projects/S0802.pdf.

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