School is looming ever closer, and the Department of Public Works hopes to teach kids an important lesson: Put trash where it belongs.

The department is reminding parents and teachers about the importance of educating children to recycle and properly dispose of their litter. Throwing trash out of car windows or leaving candy, gum and food wrappers on the ground makes neighborhoods look bad and has negative, long-term effects on the local and global environment.

“Back to school means focusing on three equally important ‘R’s — reduce, reuse and recycle,” said Gail Farber, director of public works. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders and teachers. It’s vital that they learn how to protect the environment for future generations.”

School children are not the only people the department would like to educate. Public works encourages all residents to prevent stormwater pollution by putting litter, cigarette butts and animal waste in trashcans rather than leaving them in the street, recycling beverage containers and anything else possible, carrying and using litter bags in backpacks and cars, applying pesticides and fertilizers sparingly and never before it rains and finally recycling used motor oil and oil filters at designated recycle centers.

More information about the county’s pollution prevention problems may be found at www.888cleanLA.com or by calling (888) 253-2652.