Mayor Frank, Commissioner Anderson lead litter-tarp giveaway

People driving open pickups and trailers down the road loaded with litter that’s blowing out over the landscape are encouraged to help stop that by putting a tarp over their trash before heading to the dump.

To that end, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank and County Commission Chairman Joshua Anderson gave away 350 tarps labeled “Nobody Trashes Tennessee” last Saturday at the Glen Alpine Convenience Center off Norris Freeway in Norris.

The cost of the tarps was paid from a state litter-control grant to the county, administered by Leean Tupper, administrative assistant to Frank.

“We are very excited to be a part of spreading awareness about an easy way to help keep our county beautiful,” Frank said in an announcement of the event.

“We hope making these tarps available will encourage partnerships to prevent roadside litter.”

A steady stream of visitors to the convenience center Saturday morning stopped in front of a tent set up by the mayor’s office to receive the tarps, which were being handed out by Frank and Anderson.

Those picking up tarps were told that they were to be used to protect open trash being carried on a moving vehicle from being blown away and ending up littering the roadsides.

Tennessee’s litter law says that trash carried by a motor vehicle “shall be required to have the litter in an enclosed space or fully covered with a tarp to ensure the load does not blow or fall off the vehicle.”

“Not following [this requirement] is a Class B Misdemeanor and is punishable, if convicted, with a $500 fine and court costs, plus the offender shall be required to complete up to 40 hours in public service litter pickup,” the county’s announcement of the tarp giveaway noted.

“With Norris Freeway recently getting the National Scenic Byways designation, it highlights the importance of keeping litter off the roadways, and this give-way is a great way to remind people they are supposed to have their garbage covered,” Anderson said. “I appreciate the county mayor for getting this grant for us.”

Tennessee’s statewide Litter Grant Program last year was credited with removing 10,616 tons of litter from roadways, according to the 2021 TDOT Litter Grant Annual Report.

“This event is about spreading awareness of the state’s Litter Law,” Tupper said.

“If we can do more as individuals to help control litter, it allows for a more collaborative effort to help protect the environment, the scenic nature of our area and the communities we call home.”