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think before you throw logo

Think Before You Throw, is a campaign that was launched in 2009 to address the challenge of litter in our community. The campaign aims to share with area residents how to properly dispose of litter and the problems that arise when this is not done.

As City government, we know how important it is to preserve our natural resources. We’ve been proactive in picking up litter across the City, but the increasing presence of it on City streets and rights-of-ways is a challenge. Despite the efforts of City cleaning crews and organizations, such as Keep Tallahassee Leon County Beautiful, litter continues to detract from the natural beauty of our community and drives property values down. Litter also ends up in area lakes, rivers, and streams and affects wildlife, human health, and the water we use.

The Think Before You Throw (TBYT) program is comprised of three components to address these concerns:

Neighborhood Clean Up

Volunteers helping to clean up a neighborhood smile for the camera with the hopes that the day stays coolPut the shine back in your neighborhood and organize a neighborhood cleanup!!

Neighborhood Cleanup projects can be the first step in insuring all residents recognize the importance to the community of the maintenance of their properties. This can be the first step in improving the quality of life for the neighborhood residents. The City of Tallahassee's Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs Department will help you organize a neighborhood cleanup and will provide garbage bags and pickup sticks as requested. Any city registered Neighborhood Association can participate in this program as long as there are at least 10 volunteers that will participate in the cleanup.

Neighborhood Affairs staff will coordinate with City's Solid Waste Operations staff, who will grant an amnesty day for a neighborhood clean up, picking up all types of items normally excluded from collection, including white goods (major appliances), old tires, etc. All items placed on the right-of-way will be picked up during the neighborhood cleanup.

Volunteers from your neighborhood can make a difference.

For more information, or if you would like to organize a cleanup, please call the Neighborhood Affairs office at 850-891-8795.

Adopt A Street

keep tallahassee leon county beautiful logo

The Adopt A Street component was launched specifically to address litter that is on City roadways and right-of-ways. Since 2010 the City has partnered with Keep Tallahassee-Leon County Beautiful (KTLCB), a local non-profit organization dedicated to keeping the community litter-free, to implement Adopt A Street. Community volunteers including groups, businesses, and organizations, drive the program's efforts. Community participation helps keep litter off City streets and out of rivers, lakes, and streams where it can affect wildlife and the water we use.

A Community Effort

Volunteers are a vital part of Adopt A Street's efforts to keep our area clean and attractive. The dedication that volunteers show to the program and the leadership they demonstrate makes the Adopt A Street program a true community endeavor.

If your organization would like to volunteer, visit and click on the Adopt A Street link. Once your organization is signed up, you will be provided with a starter kit of supplies including safety vests, trash grabbers and trash bags. An Adopt A Street sign with your organization's name on it will also be provided at the end of the street you adopted.

Tarp It!

truck bed

Litter can be generated from trash, debris, or materials falling off of trucks. The "Tarp It!" component of the Think Before You Throw campaign reminds truck drivers that state law requires them to place a cover over, or otherwise secure, the beds of their trucks when they haul loads of trash, debris, or materials that can be blown out of the truck bed.

Paper or Plastic - I'll Take Neither

plastic bag floating in air

500 Years. That's how long it takes a plastic bag to decompose in landfills, harming the environment and human health in the process. Plastic bags are a common item littering city streets, parks and waterways. Not only do plastic bags take away from the City's natural beauty, they also clog our area's sewer systems and pollute our lakes, rivers, and streams. They are also harmful to the wildlife that swallow or become entangled in them. 

The Paper or Plastic – I'll Take Neither component of the Think Before You Throw campaign encourages City residents to use reusable bags when they shop instead of having purchases bagged in plastic bags.

We distribute reusable bags at many events year-round. Our reusable bags are made from 100% recycled polypropylene plastic, the same plastic typically used in recyclable yogurt or butter containers. During 2009 and 2010 alone we distributed nearly 4,500 reusable shopping bags. Based on campaign estimates, those reusable bags have the potential to prevent more than 560,000 plastic bags from ending up as waste or litter annually.

Litter Factoids

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