More than 86,000 pounds of litter was removed from communities throughout Tennessee as part of the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) 3rd Annual No Trash November, a month-long initiative to ensure the state’s roadways and waterways are safe from the harmful effects of litter. Spearheaded by TDOT’s Nobody Trashes Tennessee campaign, the initiative encourages residents to join cleanups through Keep Tennessee Beautiful (KTnB) affiliates, Adopt-A-Highway groups, or by hosting their own community cleanups in November. All told, 2,201 volunteers participated in 154 cleanups, collecting 4,303 bags of litter, weighing 86,064 pounds. Thirty-seven of Tennessee’s 95 counties were represented.

“The impact of No Trash November continues to grow each year,” said Deputy Governor and TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley. “This initiative affirms why Tennessee is called the volunteer state and is an excellent example of successful collaborations between nonprofit organizations, volunteer groups, and state, county and city governments.” More than an eyesore, litter on our public roads and waterways have detrimental impacts on safety, the environment and the economy. At any given time, there are 88 million pieces of litter on the state’s roadways. TDOT spends more than $23 million annually on litter pickup and prevention education, which is funded through dedicated revenue from Tennessee’s Soft Drink and Malt Beverage industries.

“We are grateful for our many partners across the state that came together in November to help us in our mission to prevent and reduce litter,” said Brittany Morris, transportation program coordinator, TDOT. “This year’s No Trash November exceeded our goal by more than 36,000 pounds. We also increased the number of cleanups and volunteers, and expanded the program to include even more opportunities for student-athletes and youth groups, including Girl Scout Troops. We look forward to working with many of the same groups in the spring for the Great American Cleanup.”

Special recognition for the most pounds collected in four categories (Keep Tennessee Beautiful Affiliate, Adopt-A-Highway Group, Youth Group, and River Group) are: Memphis City Beautiful for collecting 11,936 pounds, HOA Litter Angels in Lenoir City for collecting 960 pounds, The Cleanup Kids in Hamilton County for collecting 340 pounds, and Keep Tennessee River Beautiful for removing 13,126 pounds from Cherokee Lake of the Holston River.

In its third year, No Trash November kicked off the month with student-athlete cleanups at Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University. A Nov. 29 cleanup with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, helped to wrap up the initiative. Participating Girl Scouts Troop cleanups earned them more than 750 Nobody Trashes Tennessee patches.

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