April 10, 2020

Litter is always bad...but now it's worse! Gloves and masks all over streets and parking lots!

There’s a noticeable difference in the type of trash currently littering our streets and parking lots. It’s not just plastic bags, wrappers, and cigarette butts – it’s latex gloves, masks, and wipes. These items are being used to protect people from possible COVID-19 contamination, but when they’re not disposed of properly there is a risk of spreading the virus. Proper trash disposal is even more important due to this possibility. According to Keep America Beautiful, this is happening all over the country. As with any type of trash you generate, it is your responsibility to dispose of it properly. Help keep Louisville’s streets and parking lots clean by not littering. There are typically trash receptacles in front of stores or even in their parking lots. And if not, keep a bag inside your vehicle to place the items in and then put in your trash container at home. This goes for all the other trash too! Please be responsible with your trash!

Changing a common behavior, like littering, starts with you!

  • Choose not to litter. Make a commitment to always dispose of your trash properly and set an example for others.
  • Understand litter laws in Louisville Metro. Share this information with others.
  • If you see litter, pick it up! People tend to litter more in already littered areas.
  • Report a litterer online now.


  • Keep your trash in the bin. Your trash should always be inside your garbage cart with the lid closed. This will keep unwanted animals from opening bags, creating litter. Need a garbage cart or second garbage cart? Residents in the Urban Services District should call Metro311 or download the form and mail it in. All other residents should contact their waste hauler. 
  • Pack your recycling bin wisely. If you use an open recycling bin, pack items so they don't blow out. Residents in the Urban Services District can purchase a recycling cart with a lid. All other residents should contact their waste hauler about recycling services. 
  • Garbage and recycling containers must be removed from alley or curb after collection. Carts and bins left out may be damaged, stolen, or vulnerable to scavenging. Removing them from the ally or curb reduces litter and keeps the area cleaner.
  • Pick up litter around your home and neighborhood. People tend to litter more in already littered areas. Help set the standard for your residence.
  • Bulky items may only be set out according to collection rules of your waste hauler. Piles of junk set out at the wrong time attract unwanted animals and scavengers, creating litter. To get reminders for Bulky Item Set Out periods within the Urban Services District, download the Recycle Coach app. All residents of Louisville Metro may drop off up to three household items for free at the Waste Reduction Center. (Disposal fees may apply for additional items.) Learn more.


  • Use trash and ash receptacles. Before you light up, identify where you will dispose of your cigarette waste when you finish. 
  • Carry a pocket ashtray. No matter where you are, you'll always be able to discard your cigarette waste properly.
  • Encourage fellow smokers to be responsible for their cigarette litter, too.


  • Use a car litter bag. When it is full or every time you fill your gas tank, empty it into a trash and/or recycling receptacle.
  • Use a car ashtray or portable ashtray to dispose of cigarette butts. Do not flick cigarettes out of vehicle windows. Report a litterer.
  • Never throw trash out of vehicle windows. Report a litterer.
  • Secure your loads. If you are transporting large items, be sure to secure them. It is against the law to drop destructive or injurious material on a highway without immediately removing it.

Pet Owners 

Picking up dog waste
  • Pick up after your dog as you walk. Use newspaper delivery bags, "scoopers", or other easy-to-use methods to clean up after your pet.
  • Place pet waste in a trash receptacle. Do not put pet waste in recycling bins. 

Learn More

Neighborhood Cleanliness Project

Keep America Beautiful


Litterati - mapping and collecting the world's litter

The Neighborhood Cleanliness Project has been piloted in Shelby Park & Smoketown! LEARN MORE

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