As part of the effort to StopLitter™ in Tennessee, Governor Phil Bredesen and TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely today awarded Dekalb County with a litter grant in the amount of $29,237.
“Each year volunteers pick up nearly 25.5 million pounds of roadside litter,” said Bredesen. “Litter is an eye-sore, it’s costly to clean up and can be harmful to our environment, but it’s totally preventable. These funds will be used by counties across the state to organize their pick-up efforts and conduct educational campaigns to teach children and adults about the importance of keeping Tennessee beautiful.”
“It’s time people realize that the roadside is not a trash can,” said Representative Frank Buck. “I support all efforts to educate people on the consequences of littering in Tennessee and encourage citizens to report litter when they see it happening.”
Litter grant funds are distributed annually by TDOT to all 95 Tennessee counties.
“TDOT awards approximately $3 million each year to help local communities in their efforts to stop litter in Tennessee,” said Nicely. “These funds are obtained through the collection of a specialty tax on the malt beverage and soft drink industry through the Litter Grant Bill which was enacted by the General Assembly in 1981.”
The funds that each county receives are determined by county road miles and county population in order to ensure an equitable distribution statewide. Funds must be used for litter pick-up activities and litter prevention education. Education funding can be used in a variety of ways, such as sharing litter control awareness with schools, citizens and businesses.
Through the litter pickup program, approximately 25.5 million pounds of roadside litter was picked up on approximately 292,000 miles of county roads, and approximately 45,000 miles of state routes.
To find out more about Tennessee’s Litter Grant program, please visit: http://www.tennessee.gov/tdot/environment/beautification/littergrant.htm