Friday, February 16, 2007

Help stop litter in the Tennessee Smokies!

Someone listened about one of my biggest pet peeves -litter - and now there is something you can do about it as the state of Tennessee now gives you the power to report litter bugs in the Smokies and all over the state!

Littering is not only filthy, selfish behavior, it is a crime. The penalties might not be monetarily as stiff as I wish they would be, but the community service for even first time offenders is fitting to the crime.

Tennessee law states that first time offenders will have to pay a $500 fine and are required to pick up the mess they made as well as other litterbugs in public places for anywhere between 40 hours on up to 6 months. Get caught littering again and your fine is $1,500 and you may also be ordered to clean up wherever you littered and spend up to 6 months cleaning up of the offensive litter or work in a recycling center.

So what can you do as the law abiding no littering Good Samaritan in Tennessee? Now if you see some offensive jerk throw something out the window of their car or litter in any way the highways or byways of Tennessee call (877)-8-LITTER (877) 854-8837 and provide the required information that can lead to the arrest and conviction of the offender and you can earn as much as $250!

The information you need to supply is:

  • Make, model and license plate of the vehicle
  • Location, time and date of the littering incident
  • What type of litter the offender tossed from the vehicle or dumped

What happens next is the new StopLitter statewide anti-litter campaign takes over and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) sends a letter to the registered owner of the offending vehicle reminding them of the severity offender of the law and warning them of the consequence of future offenses and provides the offender with a portable ashtray or trash bag.

Personally I feel as though they should save the money rather than sending these trinkets to offenders or they should be billed for these souvenirs that they earned for such disgusting and offense behavior.

The director of the StopLitter campaign Allison Teeters has been quoted as saying that it is more effective deterrent that the sate is contacting the litterbugs rather than local entities. She goes on to say "If churches, businesses, and schools would get together to pick up litter, they can make a positive impact." and that "We provide gloves, bags, and litter pickers for free. ... We are about enabling citizens to take action, and for them to decide a clean community is important."

I strongly agree that if an area is clean and litter free, often it is a deterrent to people who may litter not to do it. If an area is riddled with trash or graffiti for that matter people often don't care as much.

Please help keep the Smokies and all communities clean and put this phone number into your cell phones speed dial today - I bet you will use it within months! The Smokies and I thank you for doing you part in keeping this beautiful area clean of litter and trash.

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