September 17, 2021
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The New Mexico Department of Transportation is re-launching its “Toss NO Mas” anti-litter campaign; a public outreach effort originally created in the 1990s by Cooney-Watson Productions.

[Above graphic via the New Mexico DOT]

Jim Terr, a Santa Fe songwriter, originally wrote the song “Toss No Mas” – with singer/guitarist Michael Hearne of Taos brought on to sing a “soulful version” of it, which the new Mexico DOT said eventually became “a well-known anthem” statewide.

Photo by the New Mexico DOT

However, as littering is a “recurrent” issue, the agency decided to bring back this successful anti-littering Spanish slogan and give it a “modern facelift.”

For example, the New Mexico DOT found the largest litter accumulations come from people not tying up their garbage bags, covering loads with tarps, or picking up dropped debris or litter. As a result, the agency constructed two new logos and slogans: “Can the Trash,” created by RK Venture, along with a broader message called “Tie it. Tarp it. Pick it up,” suggested by a state resident.

“Roadside litter has become a persistent issue for the department and New Mexico,” explained Mike Sandoval, New Mexico DOT’s secretary, in a statement.

“We have 886 boots on the ground picking up litter and roadside debris throughout the year, but the problem is ongoing,” he said. “The day after a stretch of road is cleaned, new trash starts to accumulate. During the [COVID-19] pandemic, the problem seemed to get worse as PPE [personal protective equipment] was found everywhere.”

Other state departments of transportation encountered similar issues with PPE litter. For example, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation, and Keep Tennessee Beautiful joined forces in August 2020 to focus specifically on reducing PPE litter along state roadways.

editor@aashto.org

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