BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Governor John Bel Edwards announced a new LSU Litter Institute that will address not only statewide litter, but the challenge of removing litter and debris from roadways and waterways worldwide.  

The $800,000 institute is funded by the state and will build on the work of the governor’s task force on statewide litter abatement and beautification.

The plan is to connect the state, international and national experts, students and scholars to help address and solve the issue of litter.  

According to a litter study by Keep Louisiana Beautiful, Louisiana spends more than $90 million on litter each year, while only 10% is spent on litter education. 

Consultant of litter and waste management internationally, Cecile Carson, emphasizes that the impact of the institution is a “first of its kind” not only in the state, but nationwide. 

“What we envision the institute is a centralized hub, a place where we can have conferences and workshops and discussions with colleagues, really around the globe to talk about the issues, what they’re finding as problems, what they’re finding as solutions. And then identify from that best practices that can be shared,” Carson said. 

Executive director of Keep Louisiana Beautiful, Susan Russel, also agrees and considers this big for the state. 

“I think it can be a game changer. It has the potential to be huge and the reason is, because it is filling a void…,”Russel said. “It’s an opportunity for LSU through this institute to really become a leader in this space and provide resources and education and on these issues for folks throughout the country, other states can look to us to model best practices and programs…”