The Volunteers Who are Making a Difference in Litter Prevention in Keep Tennessee Beautiful

As Keep Tennessee Beautiful (KTnB) prepares for Keep Tennessee Beautiful month in March (part of the Great American Cleanup), we want to recognize the incredible individuals and groups making a difference in litter prevention. Volunteers across the state have been at the forefront, demonstrating their unwavering dedication and passion for keeping the state free of litter. Their commitment and enthusiasm serve as a driving force in creating a cleaner, safer, and more beautiful Tennessee for everyone.

Volunteers in both urban centers and rural communities have embraced innovative approaches to tackle litter prevention. In cities like Memphis, initiatives like the Slam Dunk Litter League, created by Memphis City Beautiful, have transformed cleanup efforts into engaging community events. Through creative competitions and incentives, volunteers are part of litter cleanups that inspire others to take pride in their neighborhoods. This grassroots approach fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility, empowering citizens to contribute to a cleaner, more beautiful Tennessee.

Similarly, in rural areas like Monroe County, volunteers are making a significant impact through grassroots organizing and community-led initiatives. Keep Monroe County Beautiful (KMCB) hosting cleanup events, educational workshops, and recycling drives. By mobilizing residents and fostering partnerships, KMCB has galvanized the community to take proactive steps to preserve the natural beauty of their surroundings. These efforts help address immediate litter concerns and instill a culture of environmental awareness and sustainable practices for future generations.

Every year, Keep Knoxville Beautiful organizes and supports over 6,000 dedicated volunteers who remove 116,000 pounds of litter from Tennessee roads and waterways. But their impact does not stop there. In addition to their outstanding cleanup efforts, they focus on beautification efforts throughout the city by planting trees, bulbs, and other greenery to enhance the urban landscape. They also extend the beautification initiatives by equipping communities with graffiti removal kits and championing a vibrant mural program that adorns the city with striking imagery. Through their multifaceted approach, Keep Knoxville Beautiful ensures a cleaner environment and helps foster a sense of pride and connection within our community.

With over two-thirds of the staff participating in one or more pickups since its inception, Colonial Chemical is an excellent example of the impact a group can have on a community’s well-being. As proud participants of the Adopt-A-Highway program, they have taken on the responsibility of maintaining the cleanliness of a 2-mile stretch along Highway 156 in Marion County, averaging 35-42 bags for each pickup. And their efforts have had a ripple effect, inspiring Marion County, where Colonial Chemical is located, to launch its own litter prevention campaign.

As a dedicated sponsor of KTnB, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is deeply committed to supporting Keep Tennessee Beautiful in litter prevention efforts across our state. By partnering with KTnB, TDOT is able to form valuable partnerships and implement comprehensive, impactful solutions to uphold our shared vision of a litter-free Tennessee. Without these collaborations, our mission to reduce litter on our roadways and waterways would not have the momentum and reach that it does.

This March, join KTnB and rally together to keep Tennessee beautiful. Whether by joining a cleanup event or spreading awareness about litter prevention, we need more volunteers, like the groups above, working towards a cleaner, safer Tennessee. To find a cleanup near you, head to the Nobody Trashes Tennessee event calendar and be part of the solution to end littering in Tennessee.


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