New Toll-Free Litter Hotline Now Available

February 1, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Tennesseans who are tired of trash along state roadways now have a new tool to report litter bugs. The Tennessee Department of Transportation announced today a new toll-free litter hotline, 1-877-8-LITTER (877-854-8837). The litter hotline is part of the new statewide anti-litter campaign, StopLitter?. The hotline provides a way for Tennesseans to report people they witness littering along the state?s roadways, such as a person throwing a paper cup or cigarette butt out of a window, or an item falling from an unsecured load.

?The new toll-free litter hotline gives citizens the ability to Stop It,? said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. ?Now anyone who witnesses a person littering can report it and trigger action to improve the quality of the environment and the cleanliness of our roadways. Tennessee has some of the best roads in the nation. With everyone?s help, we can have some of the cleanest, too.?

Citizens who witness a litter bug in action can call 1-877-8-LITTER (877-854-8837). Callers will reach a recording that asks them to provide information about the vehicle. The information that will be requested includes:

license plate number (Tennessee plates only)
type and make of the vehicle
day and time the incident occurred
location where the incident occurred
the type of item tossed or blown from the vehicle

TDOT will mail a letter to the registered owner of the vehicle along with a StopLitter? car trash bag or portable ashtray and other anti-litter information. The letter is a gentle reprimand reminding the recipient that littering is against the law and punishable by a fine of up to $1500.

The addition of the statewide hotline signals a new strategy in the effort to stop litter in Tennessee.

?Littering is not only an eyesore, it costs taxpayers money,? said TDOT Chief of Environment and Planning Ed Cole. ?Last year, more than $11 million was spent on litter clean-up and prevention efforts in Tennessee. Thousands of Adopt-A-Highway volunteers also contribute their time and energy picking up litter from the state?s highways each year. The litter hotline allows people to address this problem but still remain anonymous.?

?The answer to the littering problem involves more than just cleaning up trash. Prevention is the key solution,? added Edith Heller, Keep Tennessee Beautiful State Leader. ?We hope everyone will join us in this effort by calling the hotline when they witness someone littering from a vehicle.?

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