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Discarded tires, like these discovered near downtown on Friday, are just one of many examples of litter around Rome and Floyd County.

Last week, volunteers spent an entire day on a bus touring Rome and Floyd County to score the amount of litter they saw. The results of that tour have been tabulated and the measurement of litter is a little worse than it was a year ago.

The survey provides validation for a new Joint Litter Task Force that is going to make a concerted effort to increase awareness of the problems and try to further educate the public about the myriad problems that can be the result of litter.

The survey has been conducted annually since 1978 and uses a simple four point scale with 1 equal to virtually no litter, up to 4, signifying extremely littered, including the presence of illegal dump sites.

Keep Rome Floyd Beautiful Program Manager Emma Wells said the survey group noted a drastic increase in areas with outside storage issues along with numerous junked or abandoned vehicles.

"Participants often commented on the amount of litter near waterways but also commended the upkeep of much of Floyd County's public housing," Wells said.

The score this year was 1.97, which was an increase from 1.74 a year ago. Wells said that the rating this year was probably an even more accurate assessment of the problem because the survey covered a much larger area..

"We hope this route will provide baseline data to measure the future impact of KRFB programs," Wells said.