Winning the battle against litter

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Sheppard Air Force Base controls construction site storm water runoff by utilizing best management practices such as vegetative swales and silt fencing, but these efforts do not completely eliminate the pollutants introduced into water sources from construction sites. Construction site managers should ensure compliance with the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan for their particular construction site.

Any illegal connection, dumping or process wastewater tie-in to a storm sewer is considered an illicit discharge. The prevention of illicit discharges is vital to keeping our rivers and streams as clean as possible. The public role in the Storm Water Management Program can further reduce the levels of pollution found in our water resources by eliminating the litter that can end up in streams.

Litter is an ugly and expensive problem, but every individual on base can help banish trash from our roadsides. Here are some simple things you can do to keep Sheppard litter-free:

· If you see a piece of litter, pick it up and throw it away properly
· Keep all trash and recyclables separate
· Never place trash next to a full container
· Keep all trash container lids closed or covered with an impervious tarp
· Teach children not to litter
· Keep a litter bag in your car and use it. When it's full, empty the contents into a trash can and reuse the bag
· Remember that throwing lightweight items like aluminum cans or wrappers in the bed of your pickup truck is like throwing them out the window and you can risk being fined. Use your litter bag or cover your load
· Dispose of used oil properly
· Install garbage bins on your boat and never dump waste into the lake or rivers
· Carry a plastic bag when walking pets and dispose of pet waste in a trash can
· If you smoke, dispose of your cigarette butts in a pocket ashtray or the ashtray in your vehicle, not on the ground. Each year 140 million cigarette butts are flicked onto Texas highways

· Find out more ways to get involved on Base by contacting David Scarborough at 676-4600 or Kenneth Johnson at 676-2415

Find more ways to get involved in the local community by logging on to www.dontmesswithtexas.org. Learn how you can become a Don't Mess with Texas Partner. Take care of your very own stretch of road through Adopt-a-Highway. Several base organizations already participate in the Adopt-a-Highway Program sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

For additional information about this program contact Ben Coker at (940)720-7889.

You can also report litter bugs online to TxDOT. You'll need to note the date, time, location, license plate number (Texas plates only), vehicle model, who littered and what they tossed out. Don't Mess with Texas will send the litterer a litterbag and a reminder that tossing trash on the road is against the law and an insult to the Lone Star State.

We need to take storm water pollution extremely serious as water resources are becoming increasingly scarce in this region. Please take the extra effort to dispose of waste properly, protect the storm drains from illicit discharges and recycle all the trash that we can.