By BROOKE WANSER
The city of Franklin has launched a campaign to help prevent litter after receiving complaints from residents in the area.
The campaign revolves around signs with phrases like “‘Bless your heart!’ is a southern expression. Littering ain’t.” The signs will be displayed on Franklin sanitation trucks and on social media channels.
City Communications manager Milissa Reierson is the creative mind behind the social media campaign, though she said Alderman Beverly Burger and Principal Planner Andrew Orr spearheaded the efforts to do a litter survey.
Burger was approached by constituents in her ward, who complained of litter in the neighborhood.
“We’ve noticed with the growth we’re having more issues,” she said, bringing attention to the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s quarterly mowing schedule.
“When you have summer months, any time between May and September, that’s insufficient,” she said. “The residents who live and pay taxes here deserve to have a city that’s neat and clean.”
TDOT also recognizes the problem litter poses. They commissioned a study in 2016 that showed littering has fallen 53 percent in the past decade, though an estimated 100 million pieces of litter still scatter Tennessee roadways.
Burger said she approached City Administrator Eric Stuckey last year and more recently before the city decided to throw its power into backing a campaign about two months ago.
While Orr worked with the sustainability commission and the sanitation department, building and neighborhood services and county and state agencies, Burger connected with Keep Williamson Beautiful, a branch of the county government, to get survey materials.
Reierson said Orr and members of the sustainability commission drove around town in a van looking for litter in early September.
They used a scorecard from Keep Williamson Beautiful to rate areas; zero meant “no litter,” one was “minimally littered,” two was “slightly littered,” three was “littered” and four was “extremely littered.”
According to the survey, the corridors with the worst litter were:
- Mack Hatcher between Columbia Pike and South Royal Oaks Boulevard
- Highway 96 West between Carlisle Lane and Westhaven
- Spencer Creek Road between Fieldstone Parkway and Mack Hatcher Parkway
- Lewisburg Pike between the railroad tracks and Mack Hatcher Parkway
- Murfreesboro Road between I-65 and Clovercroft Road
Burger said the list was insufficient, adding that East McEwen Road at the roundabout from Cool Springs Boulevard to Oxford Glen Drive is “a critical area.”
“My major focus will be the interchanges,” Burger said of her ward. She said she wants to work with other aldermen, including those at-large, for a better trash solutions and sustainability in Franklin.