TxDOT Fort Worth District News Release
Thousands of Volunteers Pitch In for States Largest Clean-Up Event
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 17, 2006
Annual Dont Mess with Texas Trash-Off Celebrates Litter Prevention Campaigns 20th Anniversary
FORT WORTH Drivers will see something different along Texas roadways April 1, when approximately 200,000 volunteers around the state participate in the annual Dont Mess with Texas Trash-Off one of the nations largest one-day litter clean-up events.
Trash-Off will launch a spring and summer filled with special events and contests commemorating the 20th anniversary of Dont Mess with Texas. The Dont Mess with Texas Trash-Off is a partnership between Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The public is invited to participate by signing up online at www.ktb.org or by contacting your local TxDOT district office at www.texasaah.org to adopt a stretch of highway.
"When you see thousands of volunteers coming together on one day to help keep Texas beautiful, its truly inspiring," said TxDOT Travel Division Director Doris Howdeshell. "Theres so much to celebrate this year as the Dont Mess with Texas campaign turns 20, and Trash-Off is certainly one of the things we are most proud of."
Last year, in Fort Worth and surrounding counties, more than 800 people volunteered for the Dont Mess with Texas Trash-Off. They collected over 1,200 bags of trash.
"People who volunteer for Trash-Off are often surprised by how the experience moves them," said KTB President Lynn Lantrip. "Its such an eye-opening experience. You see the type of litter people are tossing on our roadways or in our parks, and you become even more determined to keep our state clean. Usually people will volunteer again the following year because they feel so good about what theyre doing. Of course, we couldnt do it without our volunteers."
In January, TxDOT debuted the new "Real Texans Dont Litter" television public service announcements (PSA) as a springboard for the Dont Mess with Texas 20th Anniversary. The PSAs feature some of Texas most recognized celebrities including Lance Armstrong, Erykah Badu, Ray Benson, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Julius Jones, Los Lonely Boys, Matthew McConaughey, Chuck Norris, Janine Turner, Owen Wilson and Lee Ann Womack.
In addition to the media campaign, TxDOT is sponsoring a "Real Texans Dont Litter" Cleanup Contest, challenging "Real Texans" to volunteer at one of 25 cleanups around the state. The locations will be unveiled the day of Trash-Off, April 1, and the events will take place between May and mid-August. Visit www.DontMessWithTexas20.org on April 1 for exciting news and additional information.
The Dont Mess with Texas Trash-Off began in 1986 to encourage the public to refrain from littering for one designated day. Each year, approximately 830 million pieces of litter accumulate on Texas roadways and today, litter pickup costs taxpayers approximately $36 million annually. Paid contractors clean 90 percent of these roadways, with groups such as Adopt-a-Highway doing the rest.
Southwest Airlines, McDonalds and the AT&T Cotton Bowl are proud sponsors of the Dont Mess with Texas 20th anniversary.
Dont Mess with Texas Trash-Off Radio Reads 2006
1) For 20 years, Dont Mess with Texas has helped keep litter off our highways. Join thousands of Texans on Saturday, April first as they celebrate the 20th anniversary at the Dont Mess with Texas Trash-Off. For more information and to sign up go to w-w-w-dot K-T-B- dot org. And remember, Real Texans Dont Litter.
2) Are you a real Texan? Prove it. Volunteer for the annual Dont Mess with Texas Trash-Off Saturday, April first. Join thousands of Texans at this annual cleanup by signing up today at w-w-w dot K-T-B dot org.
3) Celebrate the 20th anniversary of Dont Mess with Texas by volunteering for the Dont Mess with Texas Trash-Off on Saturday, April first. For more information go to w-w-w-dot K-T-B dot org. And remember, Real Texans Dont Litter.
Pre-Trash-Off/Safety and Event Awareness:
1) Volunteers will be out on Saturday, April first for the annual Dont Mess with Texas Trash-Off. So dont forget to slow down and give them a wave for doing their part to cleanup litter on our Texas highways. And remember, Real Texans Dont Litter.
2) On Saturday, April first, volunteers will be out picking up litter off our highways during the annual Dont Mess with Texas Trash-Off. So dont forget to slow down and say thanks for picking up what others have tossed out. And remember, Real Texans Dont Litter.
3) On Saturday, April first, Texans from across the state will be picking up the litter that others have tossed out during the annual Dont Mess with Texas Trash-Off. So dont forget to slow down and give them a wave for helping keep Texas roads litter-free.
1) Thanks to the thousands of Texans who volunteered for the Dont Mess with Texas Trash-Off. Now, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Dont Mess with Texas, you can win big prizes like Southwest Airline tickets and more during the Real Texans Dont Litter Community Cleanups and Contest. Go to w-w-w dot Dont Mess with Texas 20 dot org for locations and dates.
For additional information, please contact Brenda Flores-Dollar at (512) 486-5904 or Kelli Johnson at (512) 225-5854.