Community engagement needed to ‘Keep Stuttgart Clean’

Like most service members in Stuttgart, I was very happy to learn I would have the opportunity to serve here. Stuttgart has an outstanding reputation as a center of innovation, engineering and culture. It’s also known as one of the cleanest and safest cities in the world. With critical Department of Defense activities here, there is no doubt that it’s a great place to live and work.

Likewise, our U.S. military bases in Stuttgart are well maintained, safe and secure. We have first-rate infrastructure to support our first-rate mission. Recently, however, one can easily notice a significant amount of litter in and around our streets, facilities and fields. It’s challenging for me to understand how this can be when one considers, that in the military, we pride ourselves with good order and discipline. Fact is, that while the vast majority of us are very conscientious about how we process our trash, we have too many residents who are careless with their trash. People are willing to toss trash on the ground, and walk right past litter on the street. Clearly, there is a need to renew our efforts to get after this problem, which has many layers. Therefore, our response is also multi-layered. We are conducting a review of installation-wide refuse efforts, unit and community engagement and involvement, enforcement of dumping and littering violations, and education to ensure everyone understands the significant cost of litter on our bases. That is why during the week of Nov. 13 to 16, U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart and the Directorate of Public Works will execute our post-wide Recycle and Clean-Up Week. During this week, we will have a series of educational, hands-on events across the community: Nov. 13, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Patch Barracks’
J-Mall Food Court; Nov. 14, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Kelley Barracks’ Subway Parking Lot; and Nov. 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Panzer Exchange.
The weeklong program will culminate Nov. 16 when all units, housing areas, schools and other organizations will take a few hours to clean up their areas and target known trouble areas.

There is a clear need for education and communication on this topic, so we designed “Your Home, Your Work, Your Litter – Keep Stuttgart Clean” – an awareness and action campaign. Experience has shown that keeping the litter-prevention message in the public eye is essential to addressing litter problems.

You can help put a stop to littering by:
• Setting a good example for others by not littering. All organization and units working and living on our installations should develop and
maintain an enforcement program and campaign within their ranks.
• Discouraging others from littering. At all levels, hold people accountable for their actions.
• Conducting clean-up and educational programs to educate people, units and organizations about the damage caused by littering.
• Trash. Garbage. Waste. No matter what you call it, litter is detrimental to Stuttgart installations for many reasons. It poses health risks, effects water quality and wildlife habitat, it looks ugly and costs lots of money and time to clean up.
The Stuttgart military community spends thousands of dollars annually to clean litter from its installations, money that would be better spent improving our roads and infrastructure. Litter is a serious problem in Stuttgart, as you may have noticed while walking around the community. It’s a problem we can solve, but only with your help. For more information on our anti-litter and recycling programs, and to find out ways you can help, contact the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division at 421-6134 or civ. 0711-729-6134.