SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. — A group of friends were tired of seeing popular hang out spots in Sevier County littered with trash -- so they volunteered to clean them up.
On Saturday, they tackled the spot known as "top of the world" on Hazel Drive in Sevier County. It's an old radio tower service road where visitors can see downtown Sevierville from above.
Volunteer Krystal Smith said she's taking Sevier County's litter in her own hands.
"Looking out and seeing how beautiful of a place that we live in I feel very blessed, very lucky to live here. But the way that people have been treating it, it's not okay and somebody's gonna have to take care of it," Smith said.
The area is usually cluttered with kudzu in the warmer parts of the year. In the winter, beer cans, bottles and glass take its place.
"Nobody else is gonna clean it up," Smith said. "This trash has been up here for months and months and months. I've cleaned it up before up here and it just ended up trashed a couple of weeks later."
The pieces of trash do add up fast. Smith said the project took hours to complete.
"It makes me angry but you can't get discouraged because, I mean, what's gonna happen if nobody takes care of it?" Smith asked. "It's just gonna get worse."
Litter is a nationwide problem. According to the environmental nonprofit Keep America Beautiful, 96 million pounds of litter and debris were collected across the nation in 2018.
"You know you just have to take care of the spots if you want to use them," Smith said.
Krystal said she's cleaned up hot spots across the county for years, mainly near waterways. She wants people to take responsibility.
"I'm hoping to raise awareness and get more people to feel this way," Smith added. "You know, pick up after yourself, leave it for others to enjoy."
While Smith and her friends are not part of an official group, they just want their home to be beautiful.