Don’t mess with Texas®

For more than 28 years, Don’t mess with Texas® has been dedicated to educating Texans about the real cost of litter. Through our award-winning ads, statewide road tours, and true Texas pride, we go to great lengths to keep Texas litter-free.

Sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Don’t mess with Texas® and Adopt-a-Highway pair to make up TxDOT’s litter prevention programs. They also have a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful, they’re partners in the annual Trash-Off, the state’s single largest one-day cleanup event.

With help from fellow Texans, including a few household names (Willie, Lyle, and Stevie Ray ring a bell?), the state has seen roadside litter drop. But with half of us STILL tossing trash, there’s plenty more to do. And you can bet Don’t mess with Texas® will be there, litterbags and all.

The Don’t mess with Texas® Campaign

From our beginning in 1986, Don’t mess with Texas has been a great success, thanks to Texas celebrities who have spread the word about keeping our highways free of litter. In our most recent campaign, Grammy-winning Tejano performer, Sunny Sauceda and country music favorites, Kevin Fowler and Jack Ingram are putting the spotlight on our most recognizable icon—our red white and blue trash cans.

This campaign and the many that have preceded it, grew out of an extensive public education program launched by the Texas Highway Commission. Using in-depth research, we identified the state’s worst offenders and how best to reach them, and with that—the legend was born.

We’ve been encouraging Texans to keep litter off the roads ever since. Among the many celebrities who have volunteered to help get the word out are singers like Willie Nelson and George Strait, athletes like George Foreman and Randy White, and even a stealthy World War II-era B-17 bomber that reminded Texans what Don’t mess with Texas really means.

Whether the message shows up on a billboard, TV, or computer screen, we’re proud of our advertising. Not only has it successfully captured the Texan spirit and garnered lots of attention and exposure for the campaign, it’s also helped keep tons of litter off Texas roads. To us, it really doesn’t get much better than that.

Don’t mess with Texas® “Trash-Off”

Everyone can participate! Volunteers come from all walks of life: students, business leaders, civic and non-profit organizations, individuals, families, community groups, sororities, fraternities, sports teams, military, etc. If you have some free time, please volunteer and make a difference.

The Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off is the single largest one-day cleanup event in the state and serves as Texas’s signature event for the Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest community improvement program. The Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off is part of TxDOT’s litter prevention program, which includes Don’t mess with Texas®, Adopt-a-Highway, and a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful.

Join us and be a part of this great event. Your participation sends a clear message to Texans everywhere: The smallest efforts really do make the biggest difference. Take pride in the fact that you were part of making our great state beautiful. Join in on this event and help us make a difference.

Sign up at or call 1-800-CLEAN-TX (1-800-253-2689). If you’re part of an Adopt-a-Highway (AAH) group, contact your district AAH coordinator.