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39 Tons of Interstate Trash Inspires Memphis/Shelby County StopLitter Pilot Program

Monday, January 22, 2007 | 06:00pm

9 Tons of Interstate Trash Inspires Memphis/Shelby County StopLitter Pilot Program
Litter is a People Problem

Memphis,Tn – Trash on Tennessee interstates is costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year, especially in the Memphis/Shelby County Region which collects more garbage on the interstates than any other region of the state.


Today, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) along with a multi-agency task force, announced the implementation of an Interstate 240 StopLitter™ Pilot Program. The program is an attempt to clean-up litter and educate residents and motorists about their responsibility to help keep Memphis and Shelby County beautiful and litter free.

“We are pleased to have a partnership with law enforcement, neighborhood groups and local governments in attacking this litter problem,” said Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “Trashing our interstates and neighborhoods, threatens the quality of life for all citizens and gives a negative impression about a community.”

This multi-agency task force includes: TDOT, the Memphis Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Keep Tennessee Beautiful, Memphis City Beautiful Commission, Memphis/Shelby County Environmental Court and many neighbor groups and organizations.

This StopLitter™ Pilot area includes the neighborhoods and roadways along a five mile section of Interstate 240 from the Midtown Interchange at Interstate 40 to Norris Road.

“Littering is against the law and punishable by fines of up to $1500,” said Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell. “The goal of this anti-litter campaign is to educate people about the consequences of throwing trash out vehicles or hauling unsecured loads. If law enforcement officers observe the behavior, you will get a ticket and face possible fines.”

“By targeting awareness, education and enforcement we expect measurable results at the end of this three month pilot program,” says Environmental Court Judge Larry E. Potter. “Every month, TDOT picks up 39 tons of interstate litter and debris. Our goal is to change attitudes of the people who are trashing our communities.”

For more information about the StopLitter™ campaign, visit

Press Releases | Transportation