PWA conducted a field survey to assess the status of litter on the Pemaquid Peninsula as part of its new initiative as an Affiliate of Keep America Beautiful (KAB). The survey, called the “Community Appearance Index”, is a tool designed by KAB to visually assess the overall appearance of communities via the indicator of litter.
The survey was conducted in early April to time it after snow melt but before the major spring community litter pickup events. Volunteers with PWA’s Keep Pemaquid Peninsula Beautiful steering committee designed and conducted the survey based on KAB protocol. A total of 56 half-mile sections of roads stratified across the six towns that are part of the Pemaquid Peninsula were driven over 3 days, and the amount of litter seen was scored on a scale ranging from 1 to 4, with 1 being “minimal or no litter” and 4 being “extremely littered”. The composite Litter Index for Pemaquid Peninsula was 1.87.
The Community Appearance Index is designed as an annual data collection tool to allow PWA to monitor the trend in litter. Results from this year will serve as the baseline. PWA will use the findings to guide the development of educational and outreach programs for litter prevention, waste reduction, recycling, and community beautification programs. In addition, PWA will provide the survey results to KAB for their use in identifying national trends regarding community improvement issues.