DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION NEWS
The New Mexico Department of Transportation is launching a revamped ‘Toss NO Mas’ litter campaign beginning Monday, May 10.
“Roadside litter has become a persistent issue for the department and New Mexico,” said Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval. “We have 886 boots on the ground picking up litter and roadside debris throughout the year, but the problem is ongoing. The day after a stretch of road is cleaned, new trash starts to accumulate. During the pandemic, the problem seemed to get worse. PPE was found everywhere. We are asking for everyone’s help,” adds Sandoval.
The ‘Toss No Mas’ campaign was created in the 90’s by Cooney-Watson Productions. After visiting 96 locations around the state, it was discovered on average, litter in New Mexico was found along the busiest highways every 3 feet!
Working off a limited budget, Jim Terr a Santa Fe songwriter was asked to write a memorable song with an anti-litter public service message. That’s where ‘Toss No Mas’ was born. Singer/guitarist Michael Hearne of Taos was brought on to sing a soulful version of the song which became a well-known anthem across New Mexico.
Recognizing the current litter issue, the NMDOT decided to bring back the successful Spanish slogan and give it a modern facelift.
The department found the largest litter accumulations come from people not tying up their garbage bags, tarping their loads or picking up dropped debris or litter.
A new logo and slogan “Can the Trash” was created by RK Venture, along with a broader message to “Tie it. Tarp it. Pick it up,” which was suggested by a citizen and self-proclaimed “Trash Ninja” who lives in Abiquiu, New Mexico and works tirelessly to organize cleanup efforts in New Mexico.
A fun, new jingle spoofing a song from the 80’s will play on the radio. Digital ads and social media campaigns along with static graphics will be found on billboards and wrapped around ice bag containers at gas stations. In addition to a website www.tossnomasnm.com where people can find information about the campaign containing facts about how litter affects our communities, advice on how to tie/tarp loads on vehicles and ways for people to get involved and volunteer in their neighborhoods.
The NMDOT reminds New Mexicans, any individual, business, or organization can participate in the Adopt a Highway Program. The only requirement for the cost-free service is to organize two clean up events per year in exchange for a sign with the participants name and a clean stretch of roadway. For more information contact Jolene Casados Jolene.Casados2@state.nm.us.