Tennessee Trash Is Messing Up The Highways - And Response (4)

Friday, February 22, 2013

I traveled to Rochester, N.Y. for a conference back in 2010. The main thing I noticed from the airport to the hotel was the abundance of trash along the highway. There were plastic bags floating in the wind and hanging from trees. There were papers and cans and bottles and car parts along the interstate the entire way. It was my first impression of the city and one I had trouble forgetting. I know people who live there and think it’s a lovely part of the country, but when I think of Rochester, I think of…well, trash.

I grew up here in Chattanooga and remember vividly the Tennessee Trash commercials in the 1970’s with the guy in the convertible throwing trash all over the highway. In the past 30 years I haven’t seen that much of a problem here - until recently. It seems that all over this beautiful city there are piles of trash strewn down the highway. Go through the 24/75 split towards Knoxville or the Ridge Cut towards downtown and tell me you don’t also see the trash all along the interstate.

Does Chattanooga no longer have a city service that sends prisoners or first time offenders out on community service? And, why is there so much trash lately? Are we in such a poor state of affairs across this country that we just don’t care enough to dispose of our waste properly anymore? I love Chattanooga and wish that everyone here loved it as much as I do and wanted to keep it clean so that our visitors don’t have the same experience I had in New York. Come on Chattanooga – we are better than this. Stop the littering. I’ll be the first to take a bag and a stick and go pick up some trash – who is with me? 

Laura McEvoy 

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The city or state cleans up our interstate of litter on a weekly basis, but not sure why the medium between the 1-75/1-24 is omitted, and yes there is a ton of litter in that area and all over the scenic city.  What a shame as this city is so scenic, but for some they could care less, throwing thrash out the window is "no big deal."  

Maybe if we push for our state of Tennessee government to pass the "Bottle Bill" Senate Bill 337 or House Bill 289 which places a 5 cent deposit on all plastic and aluminum bottles,and cans, we can decrease the amount of litter on our roadways.  

I live in Ooltewah and coke cans and beer bottles are everywhere. I have emailed our state representatives about passing these bills, and apparently it just sits idle in Nashville as special interest groups are strongly against it passing, as I am sure they believe it would affect their sales.  What a shame as the voice of Tennesseans everywhere is drowned out by special interest lobbyist. 

Dennis Garcia

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Yes, it is disgusting and embarrassing, particularly here on Missionary Ridge where may tourists and locals come to enjoy the scenery. Fortunately, the neighbors along Crest Road police their street almost every day to pick up bits of crap, and they do side streets a couple of times a year. We used to take on side streets, but aren't as mobile as we used to be.

That said, the worst spots around here are Main Street between Dodds and Seminole, and Rosemont between Seminole and Brainerd. We have long hoped that city cameras would be set up at those hot spots to fine the dickens out of the pigs that trash us. Most of the stuff comes from fast food places, Krystal being the favorite, but the cans and bottles show up too.

Let's not to be too harsh on Tennesseans. Our guess is that at least half of the trash comes from N. Georgia, conveniently located down our street on Friday and Saturday nights. After all, they want our water, and they want a place to dump their crap.

Mark Rudisill

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The writers are right on in their observations and it is a real pet peeve of mine.  Southern folks are just plain trashy.  

The many decades and many millions of dollars ad campaign against "Tennessee Trash" has lacked one thing--enforcement.   It is up to local government to enforce the laws and remedy the actions of so many misfits and start with those who flick their butts.  This is done daily thousands of times over in and around Chattanooga, done with impunity in front of police officers.  It is $50 first offense, $250 second $500 (as in some states, the clean ones) the third and it should greatly reduce the problem.   

The Germans noticed it and found it disgusting, I've heard.  Very unlike their country.  While visiting here friends of ours have immediately noticed the problem, it is really obvious, and in our experience, distinctly worse here than other places we have traveled.

Michael Lawrence 

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For three years, I would load up a trailer and clean up Taft just because it bothered me.  Haven't in a year because I was frustrated at fighting a losing battle. Bout to have to do it again because it is looking bad.   But from what I picked up, it was apparent that the main culprits were people who were phychotic in their inconsideration for others.   

I also have called at least three times to have the loop to 4th Street cleaned.  It's the one below Blue Cross hill before reaching the Discovery Museum. The city says it is TDOT's right of way.  I get transferred then TDOT says that there is nothing it can do.  A few homeless create the piles up there and TDOT will not eradicate the problem. 

So, welcome to Chattanooga.  Look at two trash heaps before you go to the Aquarium.

Jay Kennamer

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