TDOT launches new anti-littering campaign

(WMC) - Tennessee officials would like to see the trash to leave the state.

It's hard to believe, but each year $15 million from taxpayers is spent picking up litter.

"It's time to keep the roadways clear because nobody trashes Tennessee."

That's part of the state's new campaign to educate the public about littering.

You may remember the somewhat tongue-in-cheek campaign from the 1970s that said, "There ain't no lower class than Tennessee Trash."

TDOT's Highway Beautification Office reports littering is a big problem in the Volunteer State.

"One hundred million pieces of litter on Tennessee's roads at any time."

Shelby County's newest numbers show just last month, trash crews removed 22 tons of garbage tossed along roads in unincorporated areas and bordering Shelby Farms.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said in a statement that money used to pick up trash could have been used on pressing needs for citizens.

The state wants people to report litterbugs, and there are fines from $50 to $3,000.

"Folks don't want to invest in a place that's littered, they don't want to visit and be tourists in an area that's littered," said Shawn Bible with TDOT. "It has a wide range of problems."

The state says 70 percent of the litter blows off the back of trucks. State law requires a tarp should be placed over any debris being moved.

Shelby County records show most roadside debris is found along Macon at Pisgah, Mullins station at Whitten and Coleman at Egypt Central.

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