LAKE ELSINORE –The City of Lake Elsinore and the Western Riverside Council of Governments have teamed up to tackle litter and illegal dumping with the launch of a new pilot program, Clean LE: Love Where You Live, to educate, engage and inspire residents, businesses and youth to keep their communities clean, beautiful and litter-free.
This new public outreach program was created by WRCOG in collaboration with the City of Lake Elsinore as a one-year pilot program that, if successful, could eventually expand to other jurisdictions throughout Western Riverside County as a Regional Litter Initiative.
“Litter in our communities negatively affects our overall quality of life, property values and economic development,” said Rick Bishop, Executive Director for WRCOG. “Right now, many of our cities are facing challenges related to littering and we are eager to do what we can to find positive solutions that work.”
The Clean LE Pilot Program places an emphasis on developing positive anti-litter messages that utilize education and incentives as a way to inspire community pride as opposed to negative approaches that attempt to deter litterers with fines, ticketing and negative signage. It is hoped that positive efforts will help resolve the problems much faster and longer, and set the stage for potential regional application.
Clean LE was officially kicked-off by WRCOG during a soft launch at the City-Wide Clean Up in Lake Elsinore Saturday, Oct. 15. At the event, WRCOG staff distributed program information and urged residents to sign the Clean LE Pledge promising to love where they live by keeping Lake Elsinore clean, beautiful and litter-free. A total 73 residents readily signed the pledge at the event. Barron’s Furniture Store in Lakeland Village donated a leather baseball-stitched recliner to contrast an old, broken illegally dumped chair that was recently picked up at the side of a highway. All attendees who signed the pledge had a chance to win the new recliner and one lucky Lake Elsinore family took home the new chair.
“We are tired of the litter and illegal dumping in our city. While our staff works diligently to address this problem, we have limited resources and we need the community’s help,” said Lake Elsinore Councilman Steve Manos. “Our new Clean LE program inspires our community to love where they live and treat our entire community like they would their home or car by taking steps to reduce littering and encouraging others to do the same.”
In addition to the Clean LE Pledge, the new program includes a variety of public education activities and programs focused on areas such as public school outreach, marketing and online advertising campaigns, social media outreach and contests, new signage and Adopt-A-Highway/ramp programs, volunteer opportunities to clean up the city, collaboration with outside businesses and the Clean LE Business Program and pledge.
On the City’s dedicated webpage, www.lake-elsinore.org/CleanLE, residents and businesses are able to electronically sign the Clean LE pledge and can find a list of other steps they can take to Love Where You Live.
To become a Clean LE Business, businesses take the pledge and follow through by emptying trash cans regularly, keeping property and surrounding areas litter-free, offering public trash disposal, encouraging neighboring businesses to take part, and keeping their business clean and litter-free.
The proposed pilot program is just ramping up and is anticipated to last approximately one year through 2017. Support is being provided by WRCOG, the City of Lake Elsinore, Riverside County Watershed Protection, and CR&R Environmental Services.