Preventing and reducing litter not only helps protect the scenic beauty of Tennessee, but it also helps protects wildlife and water quality, and helps maintain healthy and vibrant communities. As part of its mission to keep our roadways safe and clean, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) partners with communities across the state on comprehensive litter prevention programs.
One such program is Adopt-A-Highway. The completely free program has been around since 1989 and is an excellent way for individuals, families, businesses, community groups and civic organizations of all sizes to give back. Participating in the program gives Tennesseans the opportunity to get outdoors, give back to their community and make a positive impact on the environment. Program participants are also rewarded with a free roadside recognition panel displaying their chosen message along the adopted route.
Adopt-A-Highway volunteers must be at least 12 years old and commit to cleaning up a TDOT-approved two-mile stretch of roadside each quarter. While one cleanup per season is recommended, they may be conducted more frequently. TDOT provides all necessary supplies including plastic bags, trash grabbers, gloves, caution signs and safety vests, and TDOT will even pick up the filled bags at the end of the cleanup.
Since its inception, Adopt-A-Highway participants have removed more than 12 million pounds of litter from Tennessee roadsides. Last year, more than 87,000 pounds of litter was removed through the efforts of volunteers. In total, more than 476 miles of highway across the state have been adopted, however Smith County is not represented.
Adopt-A-Highway routes available for adoption in Smith County include: Carthage: Cookeville Hwy, Dixon Springs: Dixon Springs Hwy, and Gordonsville: Gordonsville Hwy into Halton Waterford Pkwy. The routes may be viewed online on the Adopt-A-Highway map at: https://apps.geopowered.com/tdotaah/. To learn more about the state’s litter reduction and education efforts and how to join the movement to reduce littering, visit NobodyTrashesTennessee.com.
Submitted by Brittany Morris, Adopt-A-Highway Statewide Coordinator, Highway Beautification Office, Tennessee Department of Transportation pictured below.