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EHEI Award: Education and Training Programs

Stop It, Stop Litter

Tennessee's Had Enough Campaign

Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT)

Campaign Sign: Stop It, Stop Litter

Stop It, StopLitter™ -- Tennessee's Had Enough is an exciting statewide litter prevention campaign. This marketing and educational initiative from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) enhances the environment for human activities by promoting cleaner, more beautiful Tennessee roadsides for citizens and tourists. The prevention campaign includes a new logo and slogan, multimedia public service announcements, a litter report hotline and multiple supportive partners from public, private and non-profit groups in Tennessee.

Litter is an expensive problem in Tennessee. It is associated with many costs -- it harms the environment, creates an eyesore for tourists and residents, poses a risk to wildlife and may discourage new businesses and industry from relocating to the State. TDOT spends more than 8 million dollars on roadside pickup each year. In addition TDOT distributes more than 3 million dollars annually to the 95 counties in Tennessee for pickup and prevention activities through a program known as the Litter Grant. TDOT has a special partnership with the Malt Beverage and Soft Drink industries in Tennessee who supply the Litter Grant funding through a special self-imposed tax, as well as the funding for the StopLitter™ campaign. Another important partner in Tennessee's fight against litter is Keep Tennessee Beautiful (KTnB). KTnB provides technical expertise and a network of local affiliates provides the grass roots efforts.

Tennessee's previous campaign "There ain't no lower class than Tennessee Trash" was designed in the 1970's. It was an extremely popular campaign with a catchy jingle. It was decided that the new campaign would be based on solid research concerning how Tennesseans felt about litter and just who are the Tennessee litter bugs. The University of Memphis took on this research task and determined that the number one source of litter in Tennessee is 18 to 34 year old young men. It was decided to use the campaign to reach this group and attempt to change their littering behavior. The campaign includes radio and television public service announcements along with a clever logo image that reads two ways so that StopLitter™ becomes Stop It, Stop Litter. A major component of the campaign was more than $400,000 of donated billboard space across Tennessee.

TDOT has spent approximately $250,000 each year since the 2006 inception of the campaign to create the various media components and to purchase television public service time. Because the campaign is directed toward young men between the ages of 18 and 34 years of age, the ads are on cable channels such as MTV, Spike TV, Comedy, BET, VH1, Bravo and ESPN. Another popular campaign component is TDOT's Litter Hotline -- 1-877-8LITTER. The hotline receives an average of 100 calls each month. Citizens that witness someone littering while driving may report the litter bug by telephone. Callers record the tag number, date, time, vehicle type and location. TDOT sends the offender an educational letter letting them know that they have been seen littering and what a problem it is in Tennessee. Each mailing includes a car litter bag for the litter bug's car.

Two years after the campaign started, TDOT went back to the citizens through another phone survey to see what sort of recognition the campaign had. There was a 30% increase in litter awareness and a 40% increase in specific campaign awareness. In addition actual measurements of roadside litter show a real reduction in littering behavior. The campaign has won numerous State and national awards including the Keep America Beautiful Rogers Awards and Regional Gold ADDY awards from the advertising Federation competition.

Updated: 7/11/2012
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