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Apr 30, 2016
Don't mess with Texas Trash Off 2016

"Don't Mess With Texas" Trash-Off Event 2016

To commemorate Don’t mess with Texas® (DMWT) upcoming 30th anniversary, DMWT is partnering with the Boy Scouts of America groups across the state to emphasize the importance of a clean-litter-free environment. A partnership between Don’t mess with Texas and the Boy Scouts will create a strong, sustainable experience as well as, an example for other youth organizations to follow by pitching in and doing their part. DMWT has an annual Trash-Off event for which the Boy Scouts are encouraged to participate in as part of this partnership. In addition, this year we will have various events across the state the troop can participate in.

Trash-Off Event NEW date is Saturday April 30, 2016 

  • For participating in a Trash-Off event, troops have the opportunity to earn a special 30th Anniversary DMWT patch for participating in the clean-up event(s).
    • Last year, in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful and the Adopt-aHighway groups, there were 235 organized trash pick-ups across the state; more than 30,000 volunteers; 3,709 miles of highway cleaned; resulting in 1.4 million pounds of litter collected.
    • Public relations announcements will be going out regarding partnership and litter clean-up activities.

Trash and Treasure Hunt:

  • Trash and Treasure Hunt events will be scheduled April through August. These events will be scheduled in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful Affiliates and area Convention and Visitor Bureaus. These will consist of a clean-ups, games and prizes at various locations across the state.
    • Promotional opportunities at each event.
    • Scouts have the opportunity to set up a booth.
    • Promoted on media relations materials and press events.


Increase the number of youth keeping Texas beautiful, further reducing the likelihood of children developing the bad habit of littering as they get older. This partnership will increase awareness, reduce the amount of litter across the state, set the example that at any age, everyone makes the difference in keeping our environment litter free, and educate the public on the cost of litter pick-ups, youth and volunteer programs to help keep Texas beautiful! 

Trash-Off Event Registration:

  • Sign up to participate through Keep Texas Beautiful at Link
  • If your group cannot make the April 30th date, you can organize your own event at a date that fits your schedule. Events are listed on the Keep Texas Beautiful website to join another event already scheduled.
  • Once you have completed your litter pickup, go online and record your accomplishment (number of volunteers or members in the group, bags picked up, etc.) at Link


The landscapes that makes Texas a unique place also poses safety dangers for volunteers while out on a clean-up, which is why safety is our number 1 priority. Everyone should take responsibility and be aware of their surroundings. There are several hazards that one may encounter while picking up litter, for that reason, we offer a safety video located at Link.

In addition, here are some tips to keep safe during the Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off.


  •   Think Safety: Wear gloves; thick-soled, closed shoes; long pants or jeans; and long-sleeved shirts

  •   Wear Class 2 ANSI safety vests and bright colors for roadside cleanups. Make sure the vests are fastened

    closed so the reflective surfaces can be seen from all angles. These are bright fluorescent colored vests

    with reflective strips that velcro-shut in the front of the vest.

  •   Drink plenty of fluids and keep “quick energy foods” on hand

  •   Have a first-aid kit on hand

  •   Be aware of your surroundings and the potential hazards, such as traffic, ant piles, tree branches, poison

    ivy, bees and snakes

  •   Wear sunscreen and bug repellent

  •   Carry at least one cell phone per group

  •   Know emergency procedures; have location of the nearest emergency facility and how to call the police or

    an ambulance

  •   Use the “buddy system” by working in teams of two or three to maximize safety

  •   Keep hand sanitizer and/or pre-moistened towelettes on hand

  •   Take an occasional break and keep hydrated page2image27520


  •   Don’t pick up hazardous materials such as hypodermic needles, sharp objects, old car batteries, condoms,

    animal carcasses or other unidentified, questionable objects

  •   Don’t approach any animals on the side of the road or that you are not familiar with.

  •   Don’t overstuff bags or put large sharp objects in plastic bags

  •   Don’t attempt to move large objects such as rusted car shells, old household appliances or swing-sets;

    report these to your public works contact for removal – call your local fire or police department to report

    illegal dumping and for instructions on how to proceed

  •   Don’t bring pets to events; they may distract participants or even detract from the cleanup

  •   Don’t overdo it physically

  •   Don’t pick up glass; if possible, sweep it into a bag or only pick it up if you have thick gloves to protect

    against injury

  •   Don’t schedule cleanups during peak pedestrian or traffic hours

  •   Don’t conduct cleanups during bad weather

  •   Don’t conduct cleanups near or around construction sites 

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