46,067 pounds of litter removed from Tennessee roadways during No Trash NovemberTDOT’s Nobody Trashes Tennessee initiative more than doubled the 20,000-pound goal; more than 1,000 volunteers participated in 56 cleanups
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – More than 1,000 volunteers across the state joined forces last month to remove 46,067 pounds of litter in their communities as part of the first-ever No Trash November. The month-long initiative was created to ensure Tennessee roadways are safe from the harmful effects of litter in advance of increased holiday travel.
The initiative, spearheaded by the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) litter prevention campaign, Nobody Trashes Tennessee and in partnership with Keep Tennessee Beautiful (KTnB) affiliates and Adopt-A-Highway groups, far exceeded its goal of removing 20,000 pounds of litter from the state’s roadways. All told, 1,001 volunteers participated in 56 cleanups, collecting 2,180 bags of litter and 2,501 pounds of large items. Special recognition was given to Keep Kingsport Beautiful for collecting 12,270 pounds of litter and the Appalachia Dam Watchers Adopt-A-Highway group for collecting 7,726 pounds.
“Our partners are passionate about keeping their communities clean,” said Denise Baker, Transportation Program Supervisor, TDOT Highway Beautification Office. “We knew that by coming together, we could make a big impact. We encourage all Tennesseans to keep up the momentum by taking personal responsibility for the litter in their neighborhoods and by participating in local cleanups or the Adopt-A-Highway program.”
The campaign kicked off on Nov. 5 with a cleanup at Tennessee State University with 125 student-athletes, coaches, faculty, and also included a middle and high school student video contest.
“Litter on our public roads is more than an eyesore. It’s an enormous burden to the state with impacts on public health and safety, the environment, and the economy,” said Shawn Bible, Manager, TDOT Highway Beautification Office. “We are beyond thrilled to have more than doubled our goal and are grateful to our many partners and volunteers that held cleanups in their communities during No Trash November as we continue to strive for a litter-free Tennessee.”
Learn more about the state’s litter reduction and education efforts and how to join the movement to end littering at NobodyTrashesTennessee.com. Two ways to get involved include the Adopt-A-Highway Program and reporting littering incidents through the Tennessee Litter Hotline (1-877-8LITTER). Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.
Nobody Trashes Tennessee (NTT) is the State of Tennessee’s official litter prevention campaign managed by TDOT. The campaign is rooted in research conducted in 2016, including a “Visible Litter Study” that revealed that despite a drop of 53 percent in roadside trash between 2006 and 2016, there are still 100 million pieces of litter on the state’s roadways at any given time. TDOT spends $19 million annually on litter pickup and prevention education, funded by a tax on soft drink and malt beverages. Through a collaborative statewide approach, the TDOT Highway Beautification Office’s Litter Grant Program is responsible for removing an average of 11,573 tons of litter each year from all 95 counties in Tennessee. In 2020 alone, and despite COVID restrictions, county partners removed more than 21 million pounds of litter from 450,362 miles of Tennessee roadways. Thirty-seven percent of that statewide total was recycled. Additionally, 4,023 illegal roadside dumps were cleaned up, an increase of nearly 400 dump sites over the previous year—View TDOT’s 2020 Annual Litter Grant Report for more information. Learn more about the state’s litter reduction and education efforts and how to join the movement to reduce littering at NobodyTrashesTennessee.com. Two ways to get involved include the Adopt-A-Highway Program and reporting littering incidents through the Tennessee Litter Hotline (1-877-8LITTER).