Gallatin Police Roll Out “Tarp It Or Ticket” To Reduce Litter


Gallatin Mayor Paige Brown, Gallatin Police Department and the Sumner County Resource Authority are working together to stop litter coming from trash haulers on their way to the dump in Sumner County.

According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, 72% of roadside litter is negligent, which includes vehicle debris and trash flying out of uncovered truck beds. 28% of litter is intentional, meaning it is thrown right out of vehicle windows.

“The litter situation is terrible especially along our state highways leading to the Resource Authority,” said Gallatin Mayor Paige Brown. “Without denying services or charging more for a tarp-less delivery at the dump, tighter enforcement from our city police is the best preventative measure we have at our disposal.”

Gallatin Police Officers have the authority to issue citations through the Gallatin City Court or Sumner County General Session Court (State Court). Gallatin Police Officers would primarily issue citations though city court where the fine is $143.50.

Gallatin’s City Charter states a vehicle transporting litter must be secured with a tarp to reasonably assure materials will not fall or be blown off the vehicle.

Sec. 12-30. – Hauling litter.
(a)Any motor vehicle, which transports litter or any material likely to fall or be blown off onto the public way, streets or highways, shall be required to have such material either in an enclosed space or fully covered by a tarpaulin.(b)If such motor vehicle is a non-commercial, not-for-hire pickup truck, the provisions of this subsection shall be construed to be complied with if the material on such vehicle is secured in such a way as to reasonably assure that it will not fall or be blown off the vehicle.(c)”Litter” includes garbage, refuse, rubbish, debris from any source and all other waste material.
(Ord. No. O9508-054, § 1, 8-15-95)

The City has launched a “Tarp it or Ticket” campaign, which aims to educate residents about the law and encourage everyone to do their part to keep Sumner County’s roadways free of litter.

Youtube Tarp it or Ticket ride-along with GPD Officer Carman

On April 6th, more than 250 volunteers participated in the Community Clean Up Day. Gallatin, Portland, Hendersonville, White House and Westmoreland picked up roadside litter from roadways, waterways, and creek banks. litter from roadways, waterways, and creek banks throughout the county. Over the past three years, volunteers have removed more than 23,000 pounds of litter across Sumner County.

For more information on beautification initiatives like “Adopt-a-Street” please contact Dianna Witsman with Gallatin Public Works at 615-451-5909.

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