Our latest Next Louisville story started with a question: how problematic is trash and litter in Louisville’s neighborhoods, and is it worse in areas with higher rates of poverty? We answered that question by combining data already publicly available with open records requests — and we discovered an interesting correlation.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said Wednesday that he will unveil a new city-wide cleanliness initiative this spring that he hopes will address disparities in litter problems.
In an interview Wednesday, Fischer said an assessment is already underway using city data, social media and community input to determine areas that need “concentrated help” to be more “clean and green.”
“Cleanliness sets the tone for a city,” he said. “It’s an emphasis for every part of the city to be clean.”
The announcement follows a Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting story that found areas plagued most by trash often lack public trash bins. A review of city data by KyCIR found that 73 percent of all trash-related complaints
reported to the city’s MetroCall 311 service last year were not within one block of a trash can. And 41 percent of those locations had no trash bin within two blocks. Many of these areas are home to the city’s poorest residents.