Litter and Stormwater Management

How Does Litter Affect Our City?

Litter is waste products that have been disposed of improperly in an inappropriate area. It affects the quality of life for the Lakeland community in many ways including, not limited to:

  • Entering our stormwater system which eventually ends up polluting our drinking water system and causes more expense in the treatment of our drinking water.
  • Excessive litter decreases the scenic beauty of Lakeland, which, in turn, impacts property value.
  • Degrading the ecosystem by harming animals that get trapped in or ingest waste products.

What is the City of Lakeland Doing?

The City of Lakeland addresses roadside litter from the minimum control measures set forth in our Stormwater Management Plan. The table describes in further detail how each measure is being met with best management practices (BMP).

Minimum Control MeasureBest Management Practice Activity
Public Education and OutreachDistributing information about litter through:
  • Lakeland Elementary School
  • Bi-Annual Lakeland Currents article (formerly Citywatch)
  • Stormwater brochures to community and homeowner’s associations
Public Involvement and ParticipationDevelopment of the following programs for litter clean-up:
  • Adopt-A-Street Program
  • Community Clean-Up Day
  • Bi-Annual Neighborhood Cleanup
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  1. Annual visits to the following agencies:
    • Chamber of Commerce
    • Local Fire Department
    • Homeowner’s associations
  2. Storm Sewer System Field Inspections
  3. Adoption of ordinances pertaining to illicit discharges, which is considered a form of litter
Construction Site Runoff ProgramCommunicating with private and public construction sites for the prevention of litter.
  • Twice weekly inspections are conducted on construction sites to ensure trash facilities are at each building site.
Permanent (Post-Construction) Stormwater Management Program
  1. Developing changes to existing ordinance pertaining to pollutant removal to meet TDEC requirements
  2. Annual inspections of privately owned stormwater systems.
Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
  1. Clean out of 20 percent of Lakeland’s storm sewer inlets with high debris content each year.
  2. Training of city employees on the need for the cleanliness of maintenance yards.
  3. Conduct period litter cleanup on roadways not designated to Republic Services.

What Can You Do?

There are many things you can do as an individual, family, and community to help keep Lakeland free of litter.

1. Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter. Carrying a personal ashtray is a great way to prevent litter.
2. Do not drop any waste into our streets, including liquid chemicals. Any litter that gets into our gutters affects our stormwater.
3. Do not sweep grass clippings and garden wastes into gutters and/or streets. This includes being aware of how you administer your fertilizer, ensuring it does not find its way into our stormwater system. Clippings and sticks that are placed in the yard waste container are recycled.

4. Never pour household chemicals into gutters/inlets. Bring them to the Shelby County Household Hazardous Waste Facility located in Shelby Farms.

5. When washing your car, do it on your lawn to minimize impacts from soap, mud, oil, and grease in our water system.

6. Take a plastic bag or another suitable container to collect those little presents your dog leaves behind when you go for a walk. Pet waste and stormwater info.

Adopt-A-Street Program

Lakeland has implemented a Adopt-A-Street Program to assist in cleaning up roadside litter. Please join us in our efforts to beautify Lakeland! You can get more information about the program by viewing the Adopt-A-Street Program page or calling City Hall at 901-867-2717.

Clean-Up Days

Twice a year, the City holds Community Clean-Up Days. They are usually held in the first week of November and the first week of May.

Tennessee Litter Hotline

Take a look at the Adopt-A-Street, Litter Control page for more information.