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Don’t Mess with Texas® Trash-Off

The Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off serves as Texas’ signature event for the Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest community improvement program, held annually from March through May.

The program supports efforts to clear Texas roadsides of trash and includes cleanups taking place April 1-30.

Your health and safety are our number one priority at TxDOT and Keep Texas Beautiful. At this time, KTB is promoting cleanups for individuals, members of the same household or small groups (size dependent on your local government and CDC guidelines). Please follow all CDC guidance. KTB reminds Texans to stay safe when choosing to go outside and clean up your communities. Additional guidelines and resources can be found on the KTB COVID-19 page. Questions? Email Karen at ktbcleanup@ktb.org.


The Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off serves as Texas’ signature event for the Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest community improvement program, held annually from March through May. The program supports efforts to clear Texas roadsides of trash and includes cleanups taking place April 1-30.

The Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off is part of Texas Department of Transportation's litter prevention program, which includes Don’t mess with Texas, Adopt-a-Highway, and a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful. Participants can receive cleanup supplies, promotional items and a host of resources found in our toolkit below. Anyone can participate! Volunteers come from all walks of life: students, civic and non-profit organizations, individuals, community groups, sports teams and more. If you have some free time, please volunteer and make a difference.


Start a Cleanup!

Who: Texans who want to get involved in their local communityCleanup Flat Lay DMWTTO WEB What: The Don't mess with Texas Trash-Off is a program to support efforts to clear Texas roadways of litter. Registered participants will have access to the online event toolkit and KTB affiliates will receive trash bags, recycle bags, gloves and a banner.

Supplies are reserved for KTB affiliates on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are not currently involved with your affiliate and are hoping to host a local cleanup, we encourage you to connect with your local affiliate. If your community does not have an active KTB affiliate, please reach out to ktbcleanup@ktb.org with more information on your cleanup. When: April 1-30. Be sure to plan to order supplies 3 weeks prior to your scheduled cleanup to ensure timely shipment. An event wrap-up report must be completed within two weeks of the event date.

Where: Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off events can take place on any public roadway.


Contact your local KTB Affliate
Find your local affiliate and let them know you want to get involved in the Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off!
Join a Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off cleanup in your community
Check out our calendar to see if there is a cleanup being organized in your community you can join!
Organize your own Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off cleanup
There's not a Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off happening in your community? Organize your own! At this moment, cleanup supply shipping is paused. Check back here for updates when cleanups resume in the fall.
Stop Litter Before it Starts
Reduce your waste. From straws at fast food drive-thrus, to plastic grocery bags to plastic bottled water—there are ways to cut down on waste before it ends up in your vehicle and possibly on the road. For example, get reusable containers for water and to bag your groceries or refuse extra food packaging when you grab a bite to eat.

Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off Toolkit

1
Review COVID-19 Guidelines

When picking up litter, KTB recommends participants to do so responsibly and at their comfort level. Please have participants wear a face mask and disposable gloves, and use a litter grabber (when available). Maintain at least 6 feet of distance from passersby and those not from your immediate household.

When participants are finished collecting litter, please make sure their trash bags are securely tied to protect sanitation workers. Advise them to immediately wash their hands with soap and water and hand sanitizer after collecting litter. Please have them dispose of their single-use face masks and disposable gloves properly and in the waste bin. Please follow all CDCl guidelines surrounding COVID-19. Additional guidelines and resources can be found on the KTB COVID-19 page.

PPE Litter Cleanup Guidance
How to properly pick up littered personal protective equipment (PPE).
Individual Cleanup Guidance
Recommendations for individuals and households to participate in cleanups.
2
Pick a Location

Identify a location in your community that could be cleaned and that is safe and accessible. Come up with a plan to dispose of the trash and recyclables you collect properly. Visit the site in advance of the cleanup date to determine where to set up a check-in station, where to leave bags of trash and recyclables and what areas volunteers will clean.

3
Register Your Event with Keep Texas Beautiful

Use this form to request your cleanup supplies and materials. You must also register your event in our events calendar.

Register my event
4
Contact Your Community

Encourage friends, family and colleagues to get involved and help organize the cleanup. Create a Facebook event so interested volunteers can RSVP, and you can easily communicate with attendees. Spread the word through email, social media, and e-invites. You can also print and post event flyers in the area.


1
Set Up

Arrive early to set up and post appropriate signage for attendees. At your check-in station, ensure you have pens, pencils and sign-in sheets ready for your volunteers.

2
What to Tell Volunteers

This will depend on the type of event your hosting. Be prepared for everything. Make sure group leaders have a volunteer welcome and safety speech to give. For cleanups, provide a volume to weight estimation sheet and data card. Consider other things you might want from volunteers, such as a photo release waiver.

Establish a point-person to stay at the check-in station in case of health emergencies or any late arrivals.

3
Document the Cleanup

Take before and after photos of the cleanup site as well as shots of your volunteers in action and a final group picture with all of the trash collected. You can submit these with your data card or tag @KeepTXBeautiful online with #GreatAmericanCleanup. If you're hosting a cleanup, remind volunteers to review the information they entered into the Data Cards and then make sure they submit! Collect all completed paper data forms to submit to Keep Texas Beautiful. Ensure all trash is left in the designated drop-off location and that no materials are left behind as you leave the cleanup location.


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Resources


Please note: Participants interested in using the Don’t mess with Texas logo must receive prior approval from TxDOT as Don’t mess with Texas® is federally registered and owned by TxDOT, thus cannot be used without permission.

The use of the Don’t mess with Texas® logo for the printing of t-shirts is not allowed, regardless of if they are not for profit. You may use the Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off® logo, as part of our agreement with TxDOT, but the Don’t mess with Texas® logo by itself cannot be used.

If you have any questions as to which logo needs approval, please contact the Marketing team.


Don't mess with Texas Trash-Off Impact

The data in the following infographic only includes DMWT Trash-Off eligible activity performed between April 1 - 30.

Most Unusual Item Contest

Enter to win a $100 gift certificate!

To enter, add a picture of your “Most Unusual Item” to your event wrap up report. One entry per wrap up report – must be completed by June 1, 2019 to be included in the contest.

The winner will be announced in mid-June.

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