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.