Keep WF Clean
Wake Forest is a wonderful community to live, work, play and visit. We have so much to be proud of, but like many communities across America, litter can be found along many of our streets and highways.
We know this is not just an issue in our area. Between state prisoners, contractors and its own employees, the N.C. Department of Transportation spent nearly $22 million in 2019 picking up litter along North Carolina's 80,000 miles of roads and highways.
What is the Town doing?
Show Some Love, #KeepWFclean
In January 2021 the Town of Wake Forest initiated the "Show Some Love, Keep WF Clean" Anti-Litter Campaign to educate and encourage residents not to litter.
To help ensure the initiative's success, the Town unveiled a logo (shown right) that is being used to remind community members of the important role every person plays in fostering strong civic pride. Wake Forest is known as a beautiful place, but we can make it even better by taking a renewed sense of pride in our community and helping to keep it clean. Every resident is responsible for caring for our community, so we must all work together to keep Wake Forest beautiful.
The Town is implementing an ambitious marketing plan aimed at reaching the entire community. The new logo is being used in many places, including social media posts, as well as on Town vehicles, banners, and signage.
Town officials are developing several other initiatives aimed at engaging the community and encouraging the participation of civic groups, schools and churches, as well as individuals and families.
Adopt-A-Highway - Dr. Calvin Jones Hwy/NC 98 Bypass
In 2016 the Town of Wake Forest joined the NCDOT's Adopt-A-Highway program by adopting a portion of the Dr. Calvin Jones Highway/NC 98 Bypass. Since then, Town staff conduct litter cleanups four times a year along the adopted section of roadway.
Several educational videos have been introduced to raise awareness about litter in our community - with more to come.
What can I do?
Join the Fight Against Litter
Wake Forest residents are urged to join in the fight against litter today by:
Securing litter in your cars with compact cans or trash bags;
Bringing reusable bags to the grocery store or farmers market;
Utilizing refillable water bottles and coffee mugs;
Ensuring outdoor trash cans have tight-fitting lids to prevent garbage from being spread by weather or animals;
Setting a positive example by disposing of trash properly and encouraging others to do the same.
Show Some Love - Organize a Roadside Cleanup
The Town of Wake Forest is inviting families and/or individuals to improve the appearance of local roadways. Volunteers are needed to pick up litter along sections of roadway on a one-time or ongoing basis.
People often notice the litter tossed out by neglectful drivers and feel angry and frustrated that our natural environment is being treated this way. Now, you have the chance to put these feelings into action.
There are more than 130 miles of streets throughout Wake Forest. Itâs often challenging for the Townâs Public Works Department to keep up with the roadside litter that accumulates along our streets. Your volunteer efforts will make a difference in achieving the higher standards we all have for these areas.
Please note: Due to COVID, the Town is encouraging individuals and families to participate, for now. The initiative will be expanded to include civic clubs, community organizations, churches and other groups.
Reserve a Litter Kit today!
Thank you to B&W Hardware for sponsoring our Litter Kits as part of our Show Some Love, #KeepWFClean campaign!
Terms & Conditions for Reserving a Litter Kit
PLEASE NOTE: Due to limited supplies, our litter kits are only available to town residents. But don't worry! If you live outside the town limits, you can still participate by checking out an 86it LItter Kit.
Show Some Love by Sharing your Photos
Please share photos of you and your family participating in #KeepWFclean. Picking up litter, putting a sign in your yard, businesses with window decals, placing a car magnet - we want to see it all! Submit your photos using the form below for a chance to be featured on the Town of Wake Forest social media.
Live outside Wake Forest? Check Out an 86it Litter Kit
Do you live in Wake County and want to organize a cleanup in your community? Now you can! From gloves to garbage bags and safety vests, everything you need is in an 86it Litter Cleanup Kit. Simply fill out the form and the kit will be delivered to you and picked back up when youâre done. Learn more
Littering North Carolina roadways is illegal and can result in fines for those that commit the offense. Some litterbugs simply need to be informed and reminded that littering â whether deliberate or unintentional â can end with a personal commitment to stop.
Our Adopt-A-Stream Program allows volunteers to monitor their neighborhood streams and determine the stream's health.
Adopt-A-Stream volunteers are environmental stewards who play a vital role in keeping Wake Forest's streams healthy. By taking a proactive role, you can help identify problems and repair streams in Wake Forest.
Adopt-a-Trail, the beautification and visual enhancement of our greenway trails, provides volunteer community service opportunities for groups, individuals and businesses. Community organizations, individuals, families, and business are encouraged to adopt a specific length or neighborhood of trails, keeping them clear of weeds and debris for one year.
Volunteers are also invited to initiate and participate in a number of enhancement projects designed to improve the aesthetics or functionality of the Town's greenways.
In response to growing public concern about trash and debris along North Carolinaâs roadways, the N.C. Department of Transportation established the Adopt-a-Highway program in 1988. Since then, tens of thousands of volunteers have reduced litter and also saved taxpayers millions of dollars annually in roadside cleanup costs.
Adopt-A-Highway has more than 120,000 participants across the state â civic and community groups, including schools, religious, professional and social organizations, as well as individuals and families.
There is no fee to be part of the program, but NCDOT asks volunteer groups to commit at least four years to a 2-mile stretch of roadway. Litter cleanups happen a minimum of four times a year, and sometimes more on heavily traveled roads.
NCDOT installs two Adopt-A-Highway signs with a recognition panel on the adopted roadway and provides training and materials so volunteers can safely carry out their goals.
Secure Your Load
Trucks carrying unsecured loads dump litter onto Wake Forest's roads every day. In fact, in North Carolina, half of all litter is blown, not thrown!
Truck owners often use their truck beds as mobile garbage cans. Sure itâs handy, but the trash doesnât always stay put. At highway speeds, with vehicles passing and bumpy roads, empty containers and other bits of trash easily become airborne and turn into litter.
Debris that is tossed or falls from your vehicle becomes a safety hazard to other drivers. Make sure your loads are secure and that no loose trash can fly out of your open window or your truck bed. Littering is a violation of state law that the Highway Patrol takes seriously.
Careless drivers could wind up picking up their own litter. Itâs illegal under North Carolina law to haul an improperly secured load. Penalties include up to a $2,000 fine, community service and one point on a motoristâs driver license upon conviction.
Section 1. G.S. 14-399
When litter is blown, scattered, spilled, thrown or placed from a vehicle or watercraft, the operator thereof shall be presumed to have committed this offense.
To secure your load:
Tie down using rope, netting, straps, or chains. Securely fasten large items directly to your vehicle. Make sure that any covering is securely tied down.
Put lighter items lower and place heavier items on top to help keep them in place and secure the heavy items directly to your vehicle.
Cover your load with a tarp. Covering your load with a tarp and then securely fastening the tarp to the vehicle is good way to ensure that your load is secure.
Donât overload your vehicle.
Double-check that your load is secure.
Why does it matter?
We know litter, costs our town, county and state money, but there are also a number of indirect costs we pay for litter. The indirect costs include property value, tourism, businesses, and development.
Keep America Beautiful surveyed homeowners, realtors, and business development officials nationally and released the following statistics:
93% of homeowners say a littered neighborhood would decrease their assessment of a homeâs value and influences their decision to purchase a property
36% of business development officials say that litter impacts a decision to locate to a community.
55% of realtors think that litter reduces property values by about 9%.
60% of property appraisers would reduce a homeâs value if it was littered
The presence of litter in a community decreases property values by a little over 7%, according to the National Association of Home Builders pricing model.
Wake Forest Cares
Show Some Love, #KeepWFclean is a Wake Forest Cares initiative.