Earth Day 2020: New York, Las Vegas, Memphis Amid 15 Big, Litter Polluted US Cities

For the 50th Earth Day April 22, some of the 15 high-populated cities picked by American State Litter Scorecard for excessive public spaces wastes are COVID-19 "hotbeds."

Photo by Steve Spacek

​​​​​New York, Las Vegas and Memphis are among the USA’s 15 Biggest, Litter Polluted Cities, where littering and dumping of potentially virus-breeding waste is visible, widespread. This information comes as Americans celebrate the 50th Earth Day April 22 during the coronavirus outbreak, said Steve Spacek, director of the American States Litter Scorecard and a public performance specialist.

Los Angeles, New Orleans, Miami, Detroit, Baltimore – all Centers for Disease Control-noted hotbeds for COVID-19 cases, and Houston, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Nashville, Atlanta – communities with ‘modest “case totals, make for the remaining cities with 375,000-plus populations, Spacek said. Choices were made using indicators from published sources: U.S. Census Bureau, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA), municipalities themselves and reports by Busy Bee Cleaning, TRAVEL+LEISURE and Forbes.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency and Public Health, Virology and Science Daily, solid wastes are able to breed and transmit fatal viruses and diseases – Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Malaria, Zika, even COVID-19, said Spacek. As wastes, cigarette filters, paper food packaging, plastic beverage containers and retail-issued bags can enter waterways, then ate by seafood caught and sold for human consumption. World newscasting concurs the coronavirus developed last November from diseased animal remains sold with impunity at “open-air” markets in Wuhan, China, he said.

Data from the NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) indicates over 800 persons have died each year since 2010 – roughly 3 Americans killed per day – from vehicular-majority (and a few pedestrian) encounters with un-removed waste and related debris upon roads, sidewalks, trails and in parks. These life-ending incidents with “unfixed objects,” reported exclusively to NHTSA by fifty state police agencies, can occur anytime and under all types of weather, Spacek said. In 2017, New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Detroit and New Orleans had the most urban fatalities, he added.

Since the first Earth Day in 1970, decades of Gallup polls still find “a majority of Americans have great concern for pollution and its management by government,” said Spacek. “The 15 cities are big-time failures to citizens. Elected officials, workers, contractors acted lax. Filthy public spaces were not cleaned. Little to no waste reductions, almost zero recycling support. Sadly, some highly-littered coronavirus hotbeds appear to be paying an ultimate price for not duly practicing Green virtues: avertible deaths.”

Media Contact:
Steve Spacek

TWITTER: @litterscorecard

About Spacek Public Service Consulting

* Government Performance Specialist (Fed/State/Local)
* Talks and speeches to clients, conferences, general public.
* PI ALPHA ALPHA Public Admin. Honor Society
* Held Federal "Public Trust" Security Clearance.
* Based in Washington, D.C.

Source: American State Litter Scorecard

About Spacek Public Service Consulting

Steve Spacek is director, American State Litter Scorecard.

Spacek Public Service Consulting

Clarksburg (Washington DC area), MD (DC region)