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Litter, Illegal Dumping, and Adopt-a-Road

Knox County Solid Waste has a full-time litter officer and litter crew that investigates illegal dumping and litter complaints. The litter crew works with the State Office of Probation to manage a DUI Litter Pick Up Program that allows offenders to clean up roads for community service. Along with investigative and clean up roles, Knox County Solid Waste works with Keep Knoxville Beautiful to provide litter education in the community.

Knox County Litter Ordinance
Knox County Ordinance 96-4-101 makes it unlawful to throw trash onto the ground, allow trash to blow out of a moving vehicle or leave trash in places not designated for regular trash pickup. It is everyone's responsibility to maintain control of their trash so that it does not become litter. The penalty for littering or illegal dumping is up to $1,000 plus court costs.

To Report Litter or Illegal Dumping

If you see someone dumping or littering, get a complete description that includes the vehicle make, model and color, tag number, location and time of day, then:

  • Download the Electronic Knox County Illegal Dumping/Litter Complaint Form, fill it out and e-mail it to the Knox County Litter Officer at
  • Report it directly to the State of Tennessee by filling out the State Beautification Online Form or calling toll-free 1-877-8-LITTER (the State will send a letter to the registered owner of the Tennessee vehicle informing them of the negative consequences of their littering actions and providing them with educational materials)
  • Or you can call the Solid Waste Office at 215-5865 (ext 0) to report litter, illegal dumping or request a road clean-up


If you are a member of a business, civic club, church or any other organization (including family), you can "Adopt-A-Road.” Adopt-A-Road organizations agree to pick up litter at least twice a year along a section of road in Knox County, and will receive signs marking their adopted road work area. The County will provide bags, safety vests, gloves, litter pickers and warning signs as requested. After you arrange a cleanup, Knox County Solid Waste will pick up the bags along the roadside.

  • To sign up or request more information on becoming an Adopt-A-Road group, click here to download the online form, fill it out and e-mail it to
  • If you are a current Adopt-A-Road group looking to report a recent clean-up, click here for the reporting form.

Litter Education - Keep Knoxville Beatiful

Founded in 1978, Keep Knoxville Beautiful (KKB) is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. The KKB mission is to promote a cleaner, greener, more beautiful community. A local nonprofit, KKB is contracted to provide litter education to five target groups in Knox County, including: local businesses, media outlets, Knox County citizens, students and government workers. Visit for more information on litter education and how to volunteer with KKB's litter prevention programs.

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Solid Waste Administrative Office

205 West Baxter Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37917

Phone: 865-215-JUNK (5865)
Fax: 865-215-5820

Solid Waste administrative Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Department Email