Talking Trash: City, county working on litter cleanup plans | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | April 8, 2017 5:00 pm
Last Updated: April 5, 2017 at 12:19 pm
City and county officials are talking trash.
Controlling the quantity of roadside litter is a problem in both the city and the county. And two proposals are in the works to help the problem.
Local businessman Barnwell Fishburne proposed a plan to Colleton County Council that would add paid position(s) to the budget to pick up roadside litter in designated areas on a regular schedule. “The amount budgeted and the routes are still being discussed. All I can tell you is they are all in agreement that action is necessary,” Fishburne said. The plan is scheduled to be discussed at the board’s April budget meeting.
In the city, Dana Cheney of the City Appearance Board is hoping to establish an “Adopt A Street” plan, in which homeowners, businesses, industries, and civic/youth/non-profit groups would adopt “their” streets for monthly litter control.
“We’ve tried just about everything else,” Cheney said. He organized trash pickup days hoping for volunteers from the community, but even with free trash bags and hot dogs, participation has been minimal.
“So I figured we could try this,” he said. “You’re out walking your dog in the morning, or just out walking, you pick up trash. Then just leave it out and the city will pick it up.
“This is my last resort, and the city’s last resort. The county is trying to do things with Robertson Boulevard, but we need more than that. If even a quarter of the people in the city pick up trash, it’s better than what we’ve got,” Cheney said.
Colleton County Economic Alliance Director Heyward Horton also finds his efforts in attracting new businesses to the county affected by the litter-filled roadways.
“As goes roadside trash, it is not just a Walterboro, Colleton or South Carolina problem. It is, unfortunately, part of Southern culture. When I travel to meet with companies in far-flung markets outside of the South, roadside trash is not as much of a problem. However, appearance is a reflection on a community, and roadside trash is a reflection on each and every one of us who live here,” Horton said.
“So, what does a company owner, or CEO, think when they see litter strewn along our roadsides, gathering against fences and blowing into open areas? It cannot be a positive thought. If they are coming from the parts of the country where litter is not endemic, they must think, ‘Why would I invest millions of dollars in a factory in a location where the inhabitants don’t care about themselves and the place they call home?’ It starts to bring into question a number of issues that we struggle to overcome in the business and industry recruiting process.
“I’m a silver-lining person, and I think most economic developers are. Since this is not just a Walterboro or Colleton County problem, roadside litter, or rather the lack thereof, can become a distinguishing feature. If we make the effort to clean up our environment, we can stand out as a place that not only cares about ourselves, but can stand out as a community that also cares about the heavy investment that companies often times make to establish facilities.
“Colleton County has already invested heavily in land, roads, water, sewer, speculative buildings and other ingredients that are attractive to companies. It’s time to remedy our trash problem so that we may look our best for those who will invest in our community and create good jobs for our citizens,” Horton said.