KCB Community Portal

Litter Facts

Litter, litter, everywhere! We see litter on our streets, playgrounds and parks everyday. Some litter lasts a few weeks and some litter can hang out for over 1 million years.

Look at the lifespan of some commonly littered items:

Item Decomposition Time
Glass bottle unknown
Aluminum can 200-500 years
Tin Can 80-100 years
Rubber boot sole 50-80 years
Leather up to 50 years
Nylon fabric 30-40 years
Plastic film container 20-30 years
Painted wooden stake 13 years
Plastic bag 10-20 years
Plastic coated paper 5 years
Wool clothing 1-5 years
Cigarette butt 1-5 years
Cotton rag 1-5 months
Orange peel or banana peel 2-5 weeks


Source: California Waste Management Bulletin


Cigarette butts are one of the most littered items!


Adopt-A-Highway – Volunteers remove litter from California’s Highways.


Storm Water Pollution & Litter – Our storm drains don’t just empty water into our oceans and rivers, litter goes there too.

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