Houston Matters

Don’t Mess with Houston: Dealing with the Bayou City’s Litter Problem

If you’re relatively new to Texas, you may not be aware that the phrase “Don’t Mess with Texas” was originally a slogan used in ad campaigns in the 1980s to reduce littering on Texas roads. And it worked. In the late ’80s, there was a significant, noticeable decrease in trash on Texas highways. But as […]

If you’re relatively new to Texas, you may not be aware that the phrase “Don’t Mess with Texas” was originally a slogan used in ad campaigns in the 1980s to reduce littering on Texas roads. And it worked. In the late ’80s, there was a significant, noticeable decrease in trash on Texas highways.

But as with all good slogans, “Don’t Mess with Texas” was co-opted, and became more of a statement about Texas swagger than about litter.

Perhaps it’s time for a new slogan. Drive down most any Houston highway or byway, and you’ll come across litter from cigarette butts flicked out the window, to cans, bags, wrappers – you name it. It’s an ongoing issue that has been on the minds of civic leaders from all over the Lone Star state, attending the 47th annual Keep Texas Beautiful Conference in Austin. The conference wraps up today.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss community beautification, waste reduction and litter prevention efforts around the Lone Star State.

More: TxDOT’s Danny Perez tells us more about the state’s “Don’t Mess with Texas” campaign.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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