Commonly Asked Questions:

1.  What is the most commonly littered item?

The most commonly littered items are cigarette butts, as documented. See our list of commonly littered items.

2.  Am I a litterer?

To find out if you have been littering, it’s very simple. If you’ve been throwing items into areas that are not classified as dump sites, then you have littered.


3.  Why is littering so common?

Littering occurs for many reasons. For one, many residents aren’t aware of the effects of littering on them or the environment. Unfortunately, there are also some residents who don’t care about the well being of their environment.

4.  What is being done to stop littering?

Fortunately, there are many measures being taken to prevent, or lessen the impacts of, littering. In the county specifically, there is a litter crew that goes out and picks up trash on the roads. There is also a number to call to report illegal  dumping the county. In addition, the county uses different methods to educate residents on the subject of littering. The state of Tennessee has made many efforts as well. Keep Tennessee Beautiful focuses on improving the condition of counties in Tennessee. Furthermore, the campaign Nobody Trashes Tennessee focuses on raising awareness to Tennessee’s litter issue. If you want to report littering in Tennessee, you can contact the Litter Hotline.

5.  Why does plastic decompose so slowly?

Plastic decomposes slowly because bacteria generally is not capable of breaking it down. Sunlight can break down plastic, but it can take a few centuries for it to decompose.

6.  Why is litter so dangerous to animals?

Litter poses danger to animals in many ways. For one, if an animal consumes a piece of litter, it could cause digestive problems. Similarly, animals can get stuck in litter.


Littering Facts & Statistics: (Keep America Beautiful)

  1.       In 2020, approximately 50 billion pieces of litter were documented on U.S. waterways and roadways.
  2.       Consistent data shows that cigarette butts remain to be the most littered item.
  3.       Approximately 6 billion pieces of litter were reported to be more than 4 inches long.