Litter and dumping is a crime. Knox County Solid Waste litter crew leaders manage a county-wide litter pick up program where non-violent offenders and community volunteers visit and clean up roads on a daily basis in exchange for community service hours. A full-time Environmental Crimes Investigator is notified and follows up on litter and dumping activity that is reported to our office. Our department also partners with civic groups willing to adopt roads in order to keep our community clean. Along with cleanup and investigative roles the County funds a litter education program through the litter education services contractor. More information on each activity is available below.
Knox County Litter Ordinance
Knox County Ordinance 96-4-101 makes it unlawful to throw trash onto the ground, allow trash to blow out of a moving vehicle or leave trash in places not designated for regular trash pickup. It is everyone's responsibility to maintain control of their trash so that it does not become litter. The penalty for littering or illegal dumping is up to $1,000 plus court costs.
To Report Litter or Illegal Dumping
If you know of littered roads or road side dumps or wish to report dumping activity please report them to our office. If you witness the dumping while it is happening or if you see someone littering, get a complete description that may include a description of the individual, the vehicle make, model and color, tag number, location and time of day. You should report litter and dumping using the tools below. The online form goes directly to the litter crew leaders and to solid waste staff members.
- I want to report littered Knox County roads or roadside dumps in Knox County
- You may also call the Solid Waste Office at 215-5865 (ext. 0) and leave a detailed message. Please speak slowly and leave a call back number in case we need to contact you or if we cannot locate the litter or dumps reported.
- If you witness someone littering from their vehicle please report vehicular litter crime to the Tennessee Department of Transportation using the online form OR you may also call toll-free 1-877-8-LITTER (1-877-8-548837). The offender receive a warning citation that they were caught littering and an educational packet about littering will mailed to them.
Businesses, civic clubs, churches, or other organizations (including families) may adopt Knox County and other grant-eligible roads. Adopt-A-Road organizations must agree to pick up litter at least twice a year along a section of a Knox County approved road, and will receive signs marking their work area after their second cleanup. The County will provide bags, safety vests, gloves, litter pickers and roadside safety signs as requested. After groups arrange a cleanup, Knox County Solid Waste will pick up the bags along the roadside or groups may take the material directly to County Convenience Centers. State Roads and roads within the City of Knoxville are not eligible for adoption.
- We want to apply to be an Adopt-A-Road group
- My Adopt-A-Road Group needs supplies and we want to notify you of our upcoming cleanup
- My Adopt-A-Road Group cleaned up and we are submitting our collection report
Litter Education Program
A local nonprofit, Keep Knoxville Beautiful, is contracted to provide litter education to five target groups in Knox County. The five target groups are local businesses, media outlets, Knox County citizens, students and government workers. Click here for more information about our Litter Education Contractor and to find out how you can be more involved in litter education and prevention.