Drivers are concerned about trash littering Tennessee highways

highway trash.jpeg
Posted at 4:26 PM, Mar 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-11 19:56:08-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Drivers are noticing more than just plastic cups and old wrappers littered along the highways.

Car parts and even furniture are hanging around for weeks.

Pat Bacon called it an eyesore.

She said her drive from Murfreesboro to Nashville has been a mess.

She added litter on and along the highways is getting out of control.

It was last November when the Tennessee Department of Transportation counted more than 46,000 pounds of litter removed from state roadways during No Trash November.

Bacon said since then the trash keeps piling up, and she wants to see something done before the trash causes an accident.

"I put it on social media, I've called people. I'm doing everything I can as a person to make people aware that there are measures that need to be taken. And it starts with this. It starts with your voice," Bacon said.

TDOT said they do have crews and contractors to pick up large debris items, but right now their priority is patching potholes.

The Davidson County Sheriff's Office has inmates part of its litter control crews but they aren’t able to cover as much ground as in previous years.

Staff said lower arrest numbers, higher issuance of citations, alternative sentencing and COVID has played a factor in how often things get picked up.

"I-840 coming into Murfreesboro has trash on both sides of the road," Bacon said. "You can make excuses. You can say the landfill's contributing. There's no doubt. If they're not enforcing the covering of the trucks, that's part of the issue."

Bacon said if the trash isn't removed it can lead to a serious accident.

"It's our responsibility and it's the government's responsibility. It's everyone's responsibility to make sure things are tied down, to cover those trash trucks back up, enforce it, enforce the things that are already there and make sure those measures are taken."

The Davidson County Sheriff's Office said bulk item pickup like furniture is still running daily.

As far as auto parts from accidents like bumpers, that fall under other contracts within the Nashville Department of Transportation.