This week of May 12-19 has been designated National Police Week. It is that time of year where citizens pay tribute to the men and women of law enforcement who work on behalf of society every day. It is also a time to remember those officers who have died in the line of duty.
I urge each of you to take time to thank one of the dedicated officers that work in our county: Parsons Police, Decaturville Police, Scotts Hill Police, Decatur Co. Sheriff & Deputies, TN Highway Patrol, 24th Drug Task Force, and local Constables. On behalf of the 8th District, I thank each of you for your service to our community.
Many times the god deeds of our law enforcement officers go unnoticed and un-publicized. If you have a story to share that exemplifies an officer's public service or extra care for their fellow man, let us know! We would like to say THANK YOU to all of those officers who go the extra mile to help the people they serve.
It’s May and that means Springtime is officially here! If you are like most, thoughts of planting or re-potting, Spring cleaning and yard chores are at the top of your list. In Decatur County, we are so fortunate to have such beautiful landscapes. From the Delta-like bottoms along the river to the rolling hills and bluffs, our county enjoys a lovely diversity of land.
However, we do have an issue that will take all of us to rectify and that is litter. All along our roadsides there is litter and trash. Once I was alerted to this,
began taking note – the situation is really out of hand.
Our roads are the entrances to our county – our front doors. The way that our entrance roads look tells one what we feel about our county. A friend of mine came to Decatur County recently and commented on this saying, “For a beautiful place, you all sure don’t keep it clean.” I was stunned to actually realize this truth.
We all go about our daily lives in such a rush that we don’t take time to see things as others might. I urge each of you to begin to notice the roadways and see this trash/litter. I think that we should consider starting an awareness campaign to bring this issue to the forefront of local discussions.
The Mayor has informed us that he has applied for and is expecting to receive grant monies to be put toward this type of problem. I am excited with this news and hope that we can all work together to “spruce up” our county.
I would like to know your ideas on things that we might do in the clean up campaign, which the Mayor is calling Decatur County Clean. Let us know your thoughts, ideas and plans to address this litter in your communities. From church groups to civic clubs to groups of friends, let’s band together and make our county beautiful. Let us be proud of our home and let us show that pride by making an effort to get this litter gone.
Happy May to All!
Commissioner – District 8
Citizen’s Litter Prevention Hotline
Tennesseans care about preserving the scenic beauty of their community. TCA 54-1-401 through 54-1-406 requires TDOT to establish a system for citizens to report acts of littering from motor vehicles. The law requires that TDOT send the litter offender a letter discouraging littering behavior and informing them of the potential legal consequences of littering. The entire program is anonymous. No records are kept regarding the person who made the report or the person who received the letter.
TDOT maintains a toll-free hotline at 1-877-8-LITTER (877-854-8837).
Citizens may also report littering online at: https://www.tn.gov/tdot/environmental-home/environmental-highway-beautification-office/litter.html
The information necessary to report a littering incident includes:
When citizens notify TDOT of a littering incident they observed, TDOT will mail a letter to the registered owner of the vehicle along with a Nobody Trashes Tennessee™ 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.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In 2017, The Tennessee Department of Transportation launched a new litter prevention campaign to help keep trash off Tennessee roadways. The “Nobody Trashes Tennessee” campaign will soon be seen on billboards and commercials, as well as educational programs and anti-litter promotional items.
“From the Great Smoky Mountain region, to the Mississippi River, and every stretch of roadway in between, litter on our highways takes away from Tennessee’s natural beauty,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “It’s not only an eyesore, but it costs TDOT more than $15 million a year to clean up.”
A 2016 field study of litter along TDOT rights-of-way found that, though roadside trash is down 53 percent since 2006, there are still an estimated 100 million pieces of trash on Tennessee roadways (“Visible Litter Study,” nFront Consulting, October 2016).
Littering, whether deliberate or unintentional, is punishable under Tennessee law, and it can cost offenders $50 to $3,000 in fines.
Nobody Trashes Tennessee: How the Campaign Was Created
The “Nobody Trashes Tennessee” campaign is based on rigorous research conducted in 2016, including the Visible Litter Study, which found that though littering is down, it’s still a big problem. Research indicates 30 percent of the state’s litter is “deliberate” – meaning trash is tossed right out of vehicle windows.
Another statewide study, “Litter Attitudes and Behaviors” (Baselice & Associates, April 2016), found out who is littering in Tennessee. Somewhat surprisingly, the market research indicated a slight skew toward females ages 16 to 34. Subsequent focus groups confirmed females indeed litter, but that males also contribute to the problem.
“The good news is the research showed that nine out of 10 Tennesseans are more likely to properly dispose of their trash after learning about the statewide litter problem,” Commissioner Schroer added. “We believe this new campaign can make a difference and potentially save highway maintenance funds for other needed road projects.”
For more information about the “Nobody Trashes Tennessee” campaign and to view the first Public Service Announcement, visit: www.nobodytrashestennessee.com
Find out more about NOBODY TRASHES TENNESSEE and how your communities can participate.