One reason that littering continues to occur is because many people aren’t educated on the topic. It is very crucial that the residents of the county understand the importance of litter safety. If people knew how littering affects them and their community, they likely would think twice about it. Whether through in-person interaction or our website, there will always be available resources for residents to access regarding the matter. We participate thoroughly in the prohibition of littering across the county.
Commonly Littered Areas
* Roadsides: People tend to throw out their litter while driving.
* Construction Sites: Many construction workers leave behind pieces of their materials on the sites.
* Beaches/Parks: Because beaches and parks are often heavily populated, measurable amounts of litter populate those areas.
Commonly Littered Items
* Cigarette Butts: Cigarette butts are currently the most littered item. This is extremely unfortunate for the environment due to the lifespan of cigarettes. It is a common practice for smokers to throw their cigarette on the ground immediately after smoking. However, because of the plastic material within them, it can take years for them to completely decompose.
* Food Wrappers: The production of plastic snack wrappers has increased over the years. Replacing materials like glass and metal, these plastic wrappers take much longer to decompose, posing a severe threat to the environment.
* Receipts: Receipts are commonly littered throughout the environment. In many cases, people will leave a convenience store or fast food restaurant and feel the need to discard their receipt. However, instead of traveling to a nearby garbage can, people often choose instant gratification and throw it out of their car window.
* Plastic Grocery Bags: Plastic bag usage is continuing to increase. They are used for many different reasons, which adds to their popularity. Plastic bags can often take centuries to decompose, which is why they pose a severe threat to the environment.
* Plastic Bottle Caps: Because of their small size, plastic bottle caps are often thrown onto the ground by residents. However, they can still be harmful to the environment. Plastic bottle caps are often found in bodies of water; they also can be harmful to wildlife if consumed.
Tennessee Litter Laws:
There are legal consequences for littering in Tennessee. Here are a few
Under the Solid Waste Act, releasing solid waste is illegal without a permit here in Tennessee. (Solid Waste Act)
In Tennessee, criminal littering is classified as a Class B misdemeanor. (TCA 39-4-508)
Currently, mitigated criminal littering is attached to a $50 fine. (TCA 39-14-503)
Ways that You Can Help Fight Against Littering:
Reach out to the Litter Hotline for assistance.
Recycle your items.
Explore Keep Tennessee Beautiful to learn more about the state’s efforts and recommendations.