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Trash complaints rolling in, Knoxville crews work weekends for emergency cleanups

The City of Knoxville says they’re getting lots of complaints about trash. They’re pulling some of their employees to tackle the roadside trash on the weekends.
Published: Feb. 20, 2021 at 7:11 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The City of Knoxville says they’re getting lots of complaints about trash. They’re pulling some of their employees to tackle the roadside trash on the weekends. They say it’s expensive and not something they can do continually, but they recognize it’s an important issue.

Marques Watkins is one of the crew members helping with this cleanup, he lives in this neighborhood and says some of the trash people leave behind is just disgusting.

“It can be anything from diapers to needles to paper shredded everywhere. You see a handful of things. It’s weird because you don’t even really see it you don’t ever see somebody just purposely throw a bunch of trash out so I have no idea where all this trash is coming from our job is just to make the city look good and we enjoy doing it,” said Watkins.

Rachel Butzler with the City of Knoxville says they’re getting more complaints about the trash. They’re trying to do this to help with the problem.

In one day they can pick up more than 80 bags of trash and the vacuum truck can suck up an additional 5,500 pounds of paper debris bottles fast food packaging coffee cups and lids. She says the pandemic is partly to blame. In the past, they used to have volunteers and weekend litter crews. She says there are ways people can help.

“On the front end is the best way to prevent litter but some of it is just gonna happen so we can help the community as well. we can help neighborhoods if they’re interested in doing their own cleanup and we can provide the resources you know we work with the raffle beautiful cry litter sticks and trash bag as well,” said Butzler.

You can find the crews all over Knoxville- Maynardville Highway, Maryville Pike, James White Parkway, and Asheville Highway.

Since many of the service projects have been canceled the city is encouraging people who want to get involved to organize their own cleanups.

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