Nevada remains the dirtiest state west of the Mississippi, and second to dead last South Carolina, in the American State Litter Scorecard. Other dirty states include Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Michigan and New Mexico.
Nevada remains the dirtiest state west of the Mississippi, and second to dead last South Carolina, as revealed in the American State Litter Scorecard, created by Steve Spacek and presented at the recent American Society for Public Administration Conference in the District of Columbia.
This is the Silver State's third time since 2008, to receive a distinction of having the least cleanest public spaces, of 22 governments west of the famed river in the nation's midsection.
The first Scorecard provided Nevada a ranking of 49th of 50 states. In 2011, the state budged slightly upward to 44th.
For the west, Nevada's dirtiness is followed by Wyoming, South Dakota, and New Mexico. The cleanest state was Washington, with California and Oregon also among the west's top performers for tidiness.
Spacek says that littering, the illegal human disposing of man-made items onto public property, breeds diseases and insects. The Scorecard claims that each year, over 800 Americans are killed in debris-litter attributed vehicle accidents, including nine deaths across the Silver State in a recent 12 month period, due in part to inadequate and untimely litter removals by officials and contractors.
States were evaluated based on indicators such as littering slogans, recycling and beverage deposits legislation, stewardship of thoroughfares, and corruption risk of state government public service activities. The habits of its residents were also considered, including: licensed drivers' knowledge of littering and roadway laws and per-person daily waste disposals.
Spacek took Nevada to task for non-enactment of a statewide anti-littering slogan, failing to enact container deposit and recycling laws, not prioritizing enforcement of existing laws, spending only $28 per person each year for environmental protection services.
"For many years, Nevadans have thrown away more un-reused, un-recycled items per day than Americans elsewhere. It was America's most wasteful state of the previous decade, from 2000 to 2010," said Spacek.
Nevada's environmental quality problems may also stem from having the "ninth highest risk among states for corruption in public service activities by state officials and legislators," said Spacek. He mentioned the Washington-based non-profit State Integrity severely faulted Nevada for "abysmal" practices in ethics enforcement, lobbying disclosure and internal auditing of state agencies. Furthermore, Spacek added that the Nevada Legislature has been notorious for "exempting itself from open-meeting laws they helped pass and swore to uphold."