Litter is defined as any trash that is not put in the correct container, and instead, left in an open area. 

Littering is a problem for every community in a few different ways.

  • Trash that accumulates in public areas such as along roads or in parks can make the area seem not cared for and unsafe.

  • Roadside litter is carried by  stormwater through the storm drains into local streams, and potentially into the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers.

  • Litter could reach the County's major sources for drinking water.
plastic bag hanging off an exposed tree root along a stream

Litter that ends up in our environment will eventually be carried to our rivers and streams causing water pollution. Even small pieces of trash like straw wrappers or organic material such as banana peels need to be disposed of properly. Every piece of litter that ends up in our waterways can be problematic to the water quality and disrupt the natural environment.

What can YOU do to keep our community clean?

Help us Reduce Litter and Trash in our Waterways

Volunteer with us!

Want to pick up litter, organize a stream cleanup, or help educate your community about water pollution issues? Volunteer with our  Stream Stewards Program!

Trash bags on the curb of a median

A few of the bags collected during a stream cleanup.  Much of the litter in our streams is bottles, cans and bags.

Learn about other pollutants entering our waterways and how you can help prevent them:

Help Stop Water Pollution