"Litter" is any waste products that have been discarded incorrectly, without consent, at an unsuitable location. Litter can also be used as a verb; to litter means to drop and leave objects, often man-made, such as aluminum cans, paper cups, fast food wrappers, cardboard boxes or plastic bottles on the ground, and leave them there indefinitely or for other people to dispose of as opposed to disposing of them correctly.
Large and hazardous items of rubbish such as tires, electrical appliances, electronics, batteries and large industrial containers are sometimes dumped in isolated locations, such as national forests and other public lands.
Littering has a negative impact on the environment. Litter can remain in the environment for long periods of time before decomposition and circulate over large distances in the world's oceans.
Tires are the most often dumped hazardous waste. In 2007 the United States generated 262 million scrap tires. Thirty-eight states have laws that ban whole tires being deposited in landfills. Many of these discarded tires end up illegally dumped on public lands. Tires can become a breeding ground for insect vectors which can transmit disease to humans.
- What specifically describes "litter"?
- How do people litter?
- What usually happens to land covered in litter?
- Which are generally considered hazardous materials?
- Which refers to waste material used to reclaim ground?