Weatherford Democrat

April 5, 2013

Talking trash – as in removal

Local groups taking part in Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off


Weatherford Democrat

— PARKER COUNTY — It’s spring-cleaning time in Texas.

On Saturday, more than 82,000 volunteers will take part in the 28th Annual Great Texas Trash-Off, one of the nation’s largest one-day litter pickup events. Part of the Don’t Mess with Texas litter prevention campaign, the Trash-Off is organized by the Texas Department of Transportation and Keep Texas Beautiful.

In Parker County, there are a total of seven groups volunteering to pick up litter in April. The groups participating are: Enbridge Energy, Fort Worth Motorcycle Riders (FWMR), Springcreek Baptist Church, The Bessire Family, The National Vietnam War Museum and Weatherford Chamber Jr. Ambassadors.

The Fort Worth district is made up of nine counties including Erath, Hood, Jack, Johnson, Palo Pinto, Parker, Somervell, Tarrant and Wise. In those counties, there are 88 Adopt-a-Highway groups with more than 850 volunteers who help keep our roadways free of litter. Saturday, many of these groups will be participating in the Texas Trash-Off and cleaning up area highways.

Many area roadways are still available to be adopted. For more information visit http://www.dot.state.tx.us/trv/aah/.

Research shows there are approximately 1.1 billion pieces on litter on Texas highways.  The number of people and the amount of traffic continue to rise in Texas so more volunteers are needed to help pick up litter and debris. Help showcase Texas roadsides and take part in this event. 

“Don’t Mess with Texas is an iconic brand and campaign that we want people to be proud of and that helps keep our state clean,” said Ted Houghton, Chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission. “It’s our shared responsibility to prevent littering and to pick up after ourselves when traveling around our great state.”

“We want to remind all Texans and visitors that trash belongs in a trash can and not along our roadways,” said Phil Wilson, TxDOT’s executive director. “That’s why trash barrels are playing a key role in the re-launch of Don’t mess with Texas, our state’s most critical and successful anti-litter campaign.”

An estimated 1.1 billion pieces of trash are tossed along more than 80,000 miles of state-maintained roadways. In an effort to reduce this growing volume of litter that includes fast-food packaging, cigarette butts, candy wrappers, small pieces of paper, plastic bags, and other items tossed from vehicles, TxDOT is taking Don’t Mess with Texas back to its roots by resurrecting the iconic red, white, and blue trash barrels. In the coming months, the “CANpaign” will be visible to Texans everywhere as more than 300 of these barrels will appear across the state at travel information centers, popular tourist attractions, sports venues and other high-traffic locations to remind drivers to properly dispose of litter.

Texas is home to more than 25 million people, and an estimated 1,000 people move into the state every day who may not realize that littering is against state law. People littering can be fined up to $500 for the first offense. Repeat offenders can face fines of up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail.

More information on Don’t Mess with Texas can be found at dontmesswithtexas.org. This website features background on the campaign, research information about litter on Texas roads and highways, and engaging content to help raise awareness about the importance of litter prevention.