Keep Texas Beautiful return on investment study highlights major savings to Texas taxpayers

Published 10:21 am Sunday, January 15, 2017

Special to The Leader

Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) announced the findings of its recent return on investment (ROI) study, highlighting significant savings to Texas taxpayers through its widespread cleanup programs and activities. The study, conducted by environmental consulting firm Burns & McDonnell, is the first of its kind in KTB’s fifty years of service to the state. Burns & McDonnell’s analysis found that KTB’s economic value to the state of Texas vastly outweighs its cost, citing “an ROI ranging from $51.56 to $123.47 per $1 funded,” providing an annual value of $20 million to $49 million.

In 1967, state and community leaders realized the negative impact that littered roadways were having on Texas tourism and trade. The Beautify Texas Council, which would later become Keep Texas Beautiful, was founded with a vision to make Texas the cleanest state in the nation. In 1985, KTB partnered with TxDOT through an annual contract that supports TxDOT’s anti-litter and beautification programs, including the Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off and the annual Governor’s Community Achievement Awards, which provide $2 million in landscaping projects to ten Texas communities.

KTB affiliate volunteers clean hundreds of miles of roadway and other public spaces every year, reducing potential costs to taxpayers by up to $49 million, based on the annual levels of effort provided by KTB affiliates. “Keep Texas Beautiful’s 398 affiliate communities are engaged every day on the front lines in the battle against litter, contributing thousands of volunteer hours each year to the preservation of our state resources. The results of this study demonstrate the unparalleled value of our programs and the tremendous savings passed on to the citizens of Texas by our affiliates,” said Suzanne Kho, KTB Executive Director.

As KTB celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017, the organization points to the ROI study as evidence of its positive impact in communities from McAllen to Midland and everywhere in between. KTB’s affiliate network continues to grow, and its volunteers are cleaning more miles of roadway and more acres of public space than ever before. In 2016, roughly 106,000 volunteers collected some 8.5 million pounds of waste and recyclables at KTB cleanup and recycling events. The estimated value of their 462,000 volunteer hours was more than $11.6 million, an increase of roughly 26% from 2015, according to KTB’s 2016 Year in Review.

The ROI report includes quantitative analysis of economic data and qualitative interviews with key stakeholders, KTB affiliate coordinators, and municipal leaders across Texas.