By: Shelby Baker – Communications Intern
Keep Akron Beautiful (KAB) conducted this year’s Community Appearance index on June 19, 2015. The Community Appearance Index is a tool, designed by Keep America Beautiful, to visually asses the overall appearance of communities through indicators such as litter, illegal signs, and graffiti. KAB members, along with a team of community and business representatives conducted the visual analysis using a scoring system with choices ranging from 1-4, with “1” being minimal to no litter to “4” being extremely littered.
This year’s index numbers for litter have improved since last year’s survey. The Litter Index for the city of Akron rated 1.14 this year. Temporary Illegal Signage Index rated a 1.27, reflecting an average of fewer than 5 signs illegally placed on public land in any one ward and the Graffiti Index rated a 1.07. A 2 graffiti rating would mean 1-2 small tags per ward, no larger than 6 feet by 6 feet and could be cleaned up by 1-2 people.
While all ten wards scored and average number less than 2, Ward 1 had the lowest average number of litter. Wards 1 and 8 tied this year for lowest average number of illegal signs, while Wards 6,7,5,4,3 and 1 tied for the lowest average number of graffiti amounts.
The City of Akron’s overall Litter Index decreased from last years index of 1.3 to 1.14. The graffiti index had a slight increase from 1.06 to 1.07 and the illegal temporary signage index increased from 1.08 to 1.27, when compared to last year’s ratings.
The team surveyed 5 land uses for the appearance of litter during the windshield survey: commercial, industrial, educational, recreational, and residential. This year the residential areas were more littered than the other 4 land uses while overall, the Educational and Recreational areas in Akron appeared to be the most litter-free!
This year the survey team included; KAB staff Jacqui Flahery-Ricchiuti, Helen Dauka, and William Smith, KAB Board Member; Sue Kruder, KAB Shadow Board Member; Michael McKeon, Community volunteers; Karen Reddick and Genevieve Bohank, and KAB summer interns; Lauren Brady and Shelby Baker.
Community Volunteer Karen Reddick, was motivated to volunteer this year because she frequently took note of litter lying in and around Akron’s streets. After participating in this year’s KAB Community Appearance Index, Karen realized that the litter was not as bad as she thought; and we have the numbers to prove it!