Tenn. Wildlife Federation says litter is such a problem we don't notice it anymore, asks for photos

Posted at 7:05 AM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 08:22:16-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Litter is a big problem in Tennessee. So big, the Wildlife Federation says most of us don't even notice it anymore. Now, there's a new campaign that wants us to send snapshots.

"It’s rather remarkable how much paper and plastic and garbage you'll find in a very short amount of time," said Mike Butler, CEO of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation.

He says Tennessee has tons of trash littering the landscape.

"Whether it’s been windblown, freshly deposited, or carried by water," he said.

According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, there are about 100 million pieces of litter on Tennessee’s roads at any given moment -- 18% of it will end up in our waterways.

The wildlife federation is asking for picture proof. They say photos could help illustrate the impact both to animals and us.

"Because it is an economic cost," he said.

Butler says clean up costs are in the millions year after year. Even the agricultural industry suffers.

"It damages their equipment. It can also impact livestock," he said.

He thinks the real solution will be turning the trash into some kind of renewable resource..

"I think we can find a way to take the value of that waste stream and turn it into a broader solution to incentivize behavior to stop littering," he said.

The Tennessee Valley Authority removed 230 tons of trash from the Tennessee River in 2018.

Click here to submit your photos.

Photo Courtesy:
John Baker
Eddie Johnson
Bradley Maxwell
Cash Daniels