Sumer Evans, Litter Grant Coordinator
The Morgan County Litter Program is sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
Our goal is to educate the public about litter, try to prevent it, and clean it up. We use the media, visit schools, and use other platforms to educate the public about the effects of litter. We pick up litter on roads in the county that are outside of city limits. It takes approximately one year to pick up litter on each road in the county. We have a strict schedule that we must follow to ensure that each area of the county receives attention.
Litter in TN Law
Section 39-14-501. As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) “Commercial Purpose” means litter discarded by a
business, corporation, association, partnership, sole
proprietorship, or any other entity conducting business for economic gain, or by an employee or agent of the entity;
(2) “Garbage” includes putrescible animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food;
(3) “Litter” includes garbage, refuse, rubbish and all other waste material, including a tobacco product as defined in § 39-17-1503(9) and any other item primarily designed to hold or filter a tobacco product while the tobacco is being smoked;
(4) “Refuse” includes all putrescible and nonputrescible solid waste; and
(5) “Rubbish” includes nonputrescible solid waste
consisting of both combustible and non-combustible waste.
It is unlawful for anyone to knowingly and willingly discard litter (trash, rubbish, natural waste, etc.) where it is not supposed to be
$50 Fine-Mitigated Criminal Littering Section 39-14-503: Litter that is 5 lbs or less/7.5 cubic feet in volume (Cigarette Butts, bottles, cans, fast food bags/wrappers, sheets of paper, or other objects of similar size or weight). In addition to fine, court shall require 40 hours community service hours picking up litter. Class C Misdemeanor $500 Fine – Criminal Littering Section 39-14-504: Litter that is 5-10 lbs/15 cubic feet in volume (small bags of trash, stuffed animals, or other objects of similar size or weight). In addition to fine, court shall require 80 hours community service hours picking up litter and may include up to 6 months of jail time. Class B Misdemeanor
$2,500 fine – Aggravated Criminal Littering Section 39-14-505: Litter that is more than 10 lbs/over 15 cubic feet in volume. (would include kitchen size bag of trash or larger, appliances, furniture, 1 or more tires and any other objects of similar size or weight). In addition to fine, court shall require 160 hours community service hours picking up litter and may include up to 11 months 29 days of jail time. Class A Misdemeanor
Class E Felony: 3rd offense of over 10 pounds or 2nd offense of over 1,000 pounds. This could result in 1 to 6 years of jail time AND up to a $3,000 fine.
Section 39-14-507: Covered Load Law – includes trash/litter that falls out of backs of pick up trucks. Same fines apply from above.