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 Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off is part of the partnership between Keep Texas Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation. The program supports efforts to clear Texas roadsides of trash. Participants can receive cleanup supplies, promo items and more. This year's program will take place April 1 - 30, with the kick-off event taking place Saturday, April 6, 2019.
The Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off is part of TxDOT’s litter prevention program, which includes Don’t mess with Texas, Adopt-a-Highway, and a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful. Everyone can participate! Volunteers come from all walks of life: students, business leaders, civic and non-profit organizations, individuals, families, community groups, sororities, fraternities, sports teams, military, etc. If you have some free time, please volunteer and make a difference.
Want to volunteer in 2019 for the Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off? Find an event near you!
Start a Cleanup!
Who: Texans who want to get involved in their local community
What: The Great American Cleanup is a program to support the efforts of KTB and KAB Affiliates, nonprofits, volunteers, corporations, scout groups and communities to join forces and clear Texas roadsides of trash. Millions of pieces of litter accumulate on our roadways each year, which means we need your help. Registered participants will have access to the online event toolkit and KTB affiliates will receive trash bags and gloves.
When: This year's Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off will take place April 1 - 30, with our signature cleanup event on April 7. Be sure 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.
Ways to get involved:
Contact your local KTB Affiliate
Find your local affiliate here.
Join a Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off cleanup in your community
Check out Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off events happening here.
Organize your own Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off cleanup
Below you will find plenty of supplies to help you prepare and promote your cleanup event.
Click here for supplies registration.
Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off Toolkit
Ready to organize your own Great American Cleanup/Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off event? Here's what to do next:
Pick a Location
Identify an area 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.
Register Your Event with Keep Texas Beautiful
Use this form to register your cleanup for supplies and materials. You must also register your event in our events calendar. Affiliates must sign into the Affiliate portal to do so, while non-affiliate members must submit manually online.
Contact Your Community
Encourage friends, family and colleagues to get involved and help organize the cleanup. Create a work event or 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 these event flyers in the area.
Resources (stay tuned for additional 2018 resources)
- Volunteer/Affiliate Fact Sheet
- 2019 Social Media Guide
- 2019 Local Community Press Release
- KAB Great American Cleanup Volunteer Guide
- KAB Great American Cleanup Volunteer Guide (Spanish)
- KAB Great American Cleanup 20 Ways to Clean Your Block Guide
- KAB Great American Cleanup Social Media Guide
- Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off Logo
- Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off Data Collection Card
- Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off Scavenger Hunt Card Trash-Off Scavenger Hunt Card
Ready to start cleaning up? Here's what to do next.
Arrive early to set up, post signs and label your trash drop-off site. At your check-in station, ensure you have pens, pencils and sign-in sheets ready for your volunteers.
What to Tell Volunteers
Emphasize the importance of data collection. Make sure group leaders have their Safety Speech, Volunteer Welcome, Volume to Weight Estimation Sheet and Data Card. It is easier to collect data as items are picked up, rather than sorting and tallying everything after you clean.
Establish a point-person to stay at the check-in station in case of health emergencies or any late arrivals.
Tell volunteers what to do with the filled bags of trash and set a meeting time for the end of the cleanup so that everyone returns at the same time. Kids should always have adult supervision.
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 #DMWTTO and #GreatAmericanCleanup.
If you have a scale with a hook, use it to weigh the trash bags. If you don’t have a scale, you can use a standard conversion of 15 pounds per trash bag to estimate the overall weight of your collected trash.
As the volunteers finish, remind them 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.
Finished sweeping up? Here's what to do next.
Submit your Wrap-Up Report
After your volunteers submit their data online, encourage them to share it on social media and with their local press!
If you have any questions, or would like to share photos or highlights, feel free to reach out to Keep Texas Beautiful:
Mail: Keep Texas Beautiful
Attn: Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off
8850 Business Park Drive, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78759
Survey your cleanup team post-event. Encourage everyone to share experiences, stories and pictures about what they saw. This might encourage others to attend future events—and now is the time to start planning. Let them know about your next cleanup; get volunteers onboard while their enthusiasm is high!
- Download your KAB Participation Certificate (word)
- Download your KAB Participation Certificate (pdf)
Send out an email saying, “Look what we did!” Include how many friends, family and community members joined in and the weight of trash were collected. Celebrate your accomplishment as a cleanup organizers and ocean advocate. Thank you!
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.
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 to be included in the contest.
The winner will be announced in mid-June.