It's on the side of the scenic drive through Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It's in Reelfoot Lake. It's in the lawn of the capitol building in Nashville. It's on your grandmother's doorstep. Litter is everywhere across our state, and Tennesseans are fed up. When we asked what you thought about litter, you said,
"It's got to stop."
"Enough is ENOUGH."
Why should you care about litter? Let us count the ways:
$11,000,000. Yes, you read those zeros right. That's $11 million tax payer dollars our state spends picking up the trash Tennesseans throw down on the ground. That doesn't even count what your city pays to pick up litter in the incorporated areas.
12,000,000 miles are driven each year picking up litter in our state. Think about all the gas that is needed to fuel trucks for litter pick up.
18% of all littered items end up in our streams and waterways as pollution. That means litter in our state travels to other states and eventually ends up in the ocean.
The new Tennessee Litter Law is designed to help reduce some of that trash. Smaller amounts of litter will be punished by a $50 fine, while larger fines are reserved for larger amounts. Offenders can mail in the payment to the county clerk or plead not guilty and face the officer in court. If the judge finds the offender guilty, the person must pay the $50 and court costs. It is hoped that this new law will encourage more enforcement, since the fines are more appropriate for the offenses, and in most cases the officer and the offender will not have to go to court. You can read the entire litter law here.
Here is what others had to say:
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I dont have a camera. Wish i did. I've been out picking up the river and streets by my house last week I broke the 250 bag mark. It took a dot dump truck to pick up the trash I collected with my son part of the time. It was filled to the max. I'm still going strong running out of bags soon. hopeing for more donations. Trying to keep Greeneville green one bag at a time. Sad part i might have got within a quarter mile of my home. Sad!
David Boutin, Greeneville, TN...Many people that do not litter with trash do still throw their cigarette butts out the window .Cigarettes is litter also.
Roger Groot, Cleveland, TNMax (The Countrywood Litter Buddy) rolls up, and down Rockcreek Parkway, in Cordova, TN every other day picking up litter. There is a person that litters with lottery tickets. Guess this person doesn’t know about the second chance program. This program is for people that play the lottery, and if they do not win, they can enter each ticket in the second chance program on the internet. Good luck Max….. If he wins then we can travel around educating people on the importance of being litter free.
John, Cordova, TNWe move here 2 years ago & we LOVE this state. The one thing we don't like is the fact that native Tennesseans don't seem to appreciate the beauty of their state and throw trash wherever they are. We've seen worm containers thrown by the coves off the TN River, beer containers on the back roads in the beautiful forrests. Come on. Wake up Tennessee. Keep YOUR state beautiful like it was meant to be!
Jackylea, Eva, TN I can't stand the delivery of the Davidson a.m. I've called them at least four times requesting they stop throwing it in my yard or on my street. They keep doing it and when it gets run over by a car or after a rain, it's just a big mess. I wish the state would fine the Tennessean for this lack of care for our litter laws.
Jason Coleman, Nashville, TNThe very city county and state people are causing alot of it. I live in Vonore,the city dump truck comes up here in our addition just to throw out the lunch containers,cans,bottles and you name it. If you want to see real litter,go up in the mountains,cars refers,stoves,water heaters,T.V's furniture and thrown down the moutain sides.If cigarrette butts are a problem,you haven't seen nothing. The worst part is law enforcement does nothing at all.
Mr. Sparks, Vonore, TNWe live in one of the most beautiful states in the nation. Why would we trash it? The world is not your ashtray. Keep your butt in the car!
Dianna, Maryville, TNIt is an abomination & an accurate litmus test into an individual's character. The lack of real concern is an indictment on society today on the whole.
Tom, Memphis, TNI am the new litter officer for Knox County. I am alone, solo, the only one working on this mess. this is just ONE small illegal dump in my area and it is ENOUGH PEOPLE!!!! We HAVE had enough!
Candy, Knoxville, TNLitter is a problem everywhere. Due to the economy, many states are having to cut back on their litter clean up programs. It's time for us as good citizens to help keep our streets and roadsides clean and free of litter. If we had a couple of volunteers for every mile, in areas that would be safe, picking up litter while getting their walking exercise, it would make a world of difference. People who care don't litter.
AnonymousI just moved here from South Carolina where I spent many hours picking up roadside trash, and unfortunately I feel compelled to do the same here, due to the amount of litter I see. It's a beautiful state, but some of its residents don't want to keep it that way!
Sally Frysinger, Doyle, TN