Keep IT Beautiful - Litter Pickup and Prevention

The Town of Indian Trail is a beautiful place to live, with three parks and miles of trails and walking paths to enjoy. And we want to keep IT that way!

Fall Litter Sweep

To help keep our streets clean, Indian Trail participates in NCDOT's Spring and Fall Litter Sweeps by organizing a group of volunteers and Town staff to pick up litter on designated roads throughout Indian Trail. 

Date and Time: Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023

Time and Schedule:

  • 7:30 a.m.: Meet at the Indian Trail Town Hall for a light breakfast and safety meeting
  • 8 a.m.: Litter Pick up
  • 11 a.m.: Return to the Town Hall

The Town is looking for 50 volunteers to help pick up litter that day. If you're interested, please sign up using our Volunteer Application Form. Our hope is that with many hands, we can make a meaningful impact. Please remember to wear comfortable clothing and closed-toed shoes. The Town will supply the necessary equipment (bags, pickers, buckets, safety vests, etc.). 

A graphic of a green tree with the words Keep IT beautiful below it.
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Facts About Littering

Where Does Litter Come From?

  • Irresponsible disposal of trash by pedestrians and motorists. 
  • Uncovered trucks.
  • Household trash at the curb. 
  • Dumpsters. 
  • Construction and demolition sites. 

Negative Impacts of Littering

  • Litter is pollution! Here’s how long it takes some commonly littered items to decompose:
    • Styrofoam containers: 500 years or more
    • Cigarette butts: 10 years 
    • Plastic bags: 10-30 years
    • Plastic bottles: 1,000 years
    • Glass bottles: 1 million years 
    • Aluminum cans: 200-400 years
  • Litter pollutes our groundwater, lakes, and streams, which degrades the quality of the water we drink and use for recreation.
  • Litter attracts rodents and insects, which can breed diseases that are spread to people, pets, and wildlife.
  • Litter kills fish and wildlife when they ingest toxic substances or become entangled in trash.
  • Large items of litter on the roadways from unsecured loads can cause traffic accidents or vehicle damage. 

Litter Laws

  • North Carolina has an anti-littering law in which individuals may be fined and face community service. 
    • Intentional littering of 15 pounds or less is a Class 3 misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of $250-$1,000 and up to 24 hours of community service. 
    • Unintentional littering of 15 pounds or less is an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $100 and up to 12 hours of community service. 

What You Can Do To Help

Help us Keep IT Beautiful all year long by doing your part to prevent litter. 

Everyday Activities

You can take steps every day to help prevent litter on our roads and in our parks and streams. 

  • Keep a litter bag in your car and dispose of your trash when you reach your destination. 
  • Utilize sustainable and reusable products to reduce the amount of waste. 
  • Make sure the lids of your solid waste and recycling bins close securely. 
  • If you see litter and can do so safely, dispose of it in the nearest trash or recycling bin. 
  • Keep litter out of pickup truck beds or places where it could easily blow away. 
  • When hauling construction material or other large debris, make sure it’s secure. 
  • When visiting parks, trails, or other natural areas, leave nothing but footprints behind. 

Host Your Own Litter Sweep

Select a date, gather your team, and borrow all the needed materials from the Town of Indian Trail! This includes bags, pickers, buckets, and safety vests. If you're interested in hosting your own litter sweep, call 704-821-5401 and ask for Public Works. They'll make sure the materials are reserved for you. 

Adopt-a-Highway Program

NCDOT's Adopt-a-Highway Program began in 1988 to combat the growing amount of trash and debris along North Carolina's roadways. The program has more than 120,000 volunteers, including schools, civic groups, professional organizations, families, and individuals. 

There is no fee to participate in the program, but NCDOT asks that volunteers commit to a minimum of four years for a two-mile section of road. 


NCDOT also created the Swat-A-Litterbug program provides a way for citizens to report those who litter to help keep the roadways cleaner. Littering is illegal and can result in fines for those who do. 

To make a report, contact NCDOT's Litter Management at 1-800-331-5864 or by filling out an online form

NCDOT also released a new Swat-A-Litterbug app to report litterers. To access the app, visit First-time mobile users will be given a pop-up instruction on how to add a shortcut to their phone’s home screen. This will add an icon that, when clicked, will take users directly to the Swat-A-Litterbug form. These instructions will also be available on the app’s settings page