About Nobody Trashes Tennessee

As Tennesseans, we have a lot to be proud of: our music, our barbecue, our beautiful state parks, the distinguished universities, the icons that call it home and so much more. However, there is one thing we’re not so proud of – our litter problem.

Did you know there are more than 88 million pieces of litter on Tennessee roadways at any time? That’s a lot of trash that impacts both people and wildlife! Keep reading to find out what we’re doing about it and how you can help:

Our Litter Prevention Programs & Initiatives

At Nobody Trashes Tennessee, community action is the cornerstone of environmental stewardship. Our programs not only instill a sense of community in Tennesseans but are also fun and dynamic ways to get involved:

Take a look at some of our major programs and initiatives:

No Trash November

Each year, we hold a month-long statewide initiative called “No Trash November” encouraging Tennesseans to participate in cleanup events in their communities. This ensures our roadways are safe from the harmful effects of litter, especially as we approach the holidays and increased travel.


Our Adopt-A-Highway program gives businesses, families, friends or community groups a unique opportunity to get outdoors and positively impact local communities. Our volunteer groups adopt two miles of roadway for at least one year.

Participants work together to clean up their selected roadway at least four times a year. We typically recommend one pickup per season. The Tennessee Department of Transportation provides the group with necessary supplies and special recognition under the “Adopt-A-Highway” sign. This signature program is a great way to foster a sense of pride and community while keeping Tennessee beautiful.



The Tennessee Sponsor-A-Highway program is a new way for businesses and organizations to help keep Tennessee beautiful. In contrast to the Adopt-A-Highway program, the Sponsor-A-Highway program enables businesses to fund professional litter removal along some of Tennessee’s busiest roadways, including interstates. Under the Sponsor-A-Highway program, the Adopt-A-Highway Maintenance Corporation manages everything from selecting roadways to installing signs and conducting regular litter removal. Learn more about supporting your local community and getting recognized for contributing to a cleaner Tennessee.

Litter Hotline

Designed to discourage litterbugs, the Litter Hotline (1-877-854-8837) is available for concerned citizens to report a litterer. Litter thrown from vehicles is detrimental to the surrounding wildlife populations.

Although litterers do not receive a fine when reported, they will receive a letter reminding them about the potential for a fine (up to $2,500 if caught by State Patrol) and encouragement to dispose of trash properly.

Litter Grant

Since 1983, TDOT has joined forces with all 95 county governments by offering Litter Grants which subsidize local pickup operations and enhance litter prevention education resources across Tennessee. Annually, $5.5 million is allocated to Litter Grants statewide, a total that has remained the same since 2017. The amount each county receives is based on a formula accounting for population and road miles. Counties are required to tackle litter prevention education in three of five designated categories: students, public, media, business, and government.

Keep Tennessee Beautiful

Keep Tennessee Beautiful (KTnB) is the statewide affiliate for Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and an adjunct service of the University of Memphis. KTnB is funded by TDOT’s Litter Grant funds which allow the organization to provide expertise in litter prevention education, litter law enforcement, community enhancement through beautification, and volunteer recruitment and management. KTnB administers its own programming and assists local-level KAB affiliates in 34 Tennessee communities.

No Nobody Trashes Tennessee is making a difference in our environment through these initiatives. Every bag of trash adequately disposed of and every phone call to report littering all help to keep our state beautiful and our communities clean.

There are an estimated 50 billion pieces of litter on roadways nationwide, according to Keep America Beautiful. (Adobe Stock)

The Tennessee Litter Problem

Roadside litter is a serious problem in Tennessee. Did you know that there are currently more than 88 million pieces of litter on Tennessee state roadways? It costs the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) more than $23 million a year to clean up our roadways.

How do we know? Because we counted when pioneering the “Visible Litter Study.”

Littering on roadways can be hazardous to drivers and pedestrians. Improperly discarded trash can also damage the environment and wildlife.

Nobody Trashes Tennessee
on Our Watch

We are on a mission to end littering and build state pride. All Tennesseans play a role in keeping our state clean and safe. With our programs and initiatives, we can ensure that all our state’s citizens can participate in our litter prevention efforts.

By fostering strong partnerships with educational institutions, governmental bodies, and local communities, we can amplify the reach of our anti-litter campaigns. This collaboration allows for a pooling of resources and an exchange of litter prevention knowledge.

It is easy to get involved and keep the trash out of Tennessee. Join a litter cleanup drive, call the litter hotline, or find additional ways to Join the Movement

Our combined efforts make for a cleaner, proud Tennessee. Let’s work together to keep Tennessee’s natural beauty intact by taking out the trash. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Explore our comprehensive FAQ section to find answers to your questions about combating litter, recycling in Tennessee, environmental issues, river health, wildlife conservation, the Adopt-A-Highway program, and proper trash disposal.

Learn how you can make a difference and contribute to a cleaner, healthier Tennessee environment.

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