The Clean Case
Litter doesn't only look bad, there are proven commercial consequences to leaving the stuff around.
A littered property results in a 9% decrease in property value according to appraisers and real estate agents.
Litter and store cleanliness was one of the top three reasons that consumers cite for not returning to a store. Litter directly impacts the perception of an unhealthy business. Cleaning up litter increases confidence in your business.
When you show pride in your business your team takes pride in the business. This translates to their interaction with your customer.
Crime Rates and Anti-Social Behavior
Research studies have found that theft and crime are increase in areas where there is visible litter.
Studies have shown that real estate agents attribute a 7-9% property value decrease when a persistent trash or litter problem is present. Keeping a clean property not only improves the property value numbers but it also improves resident satisfaction.
Studies have found that retail customers list litter and trash issues the third most likely thing that will make them not return to your store. This is right behind "bad customer service" and "unsanitary bathrooms." Keeping a clean and sanitary business pays for itself.
Every year, Utah cleans out 1.5 million tons of trash and litter from our storm sewers. For the United States, this costs taxpayers and businesses $11.5 billion. The items not cleaned up make it into our rivers, into our lakes etc. You get the picture.
Group behavior studies have found that if there is already litter on the ground, people are 78 times more likely to throw another piece of litter on the ground. This adds up as the piles of trash accumulates faster.
Sources and additional reading:
2009 NATIONAL VISIBLE LITTER SURVEY AND LITTER COST STUDY
Litter in America: Fact Sheet – Littering Overview
Being a Good Neighbor: A Guide to Reducing and Managing Litter
Litter Facts You Can't Ignore - Keep Liberty Beatiful
LA Times: "Report unveils hidden costs of litter cleanup for Californians"
The High Cost of Litter
The generation and cost of litter resulting from the curbside collection of recycling