Talking Trash: City, county working on litter cleanup plans | News | The Press and Standard

by | 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.

comments » 6

  1. Comment by Ken Pruett

    April 8, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Years ago when David Carter was County Supervisor, he made arrangements with the judges to give sentences for first-time minor offenders, instead of jail or fine, a set number of Saturday mornings to pick up trash on the highways. Louie Fender would meet these persons at the designated area. They would pick up trash for 2 – 3 hours each Saturday. If someone did not show up then they had to serve time in jail instead. It worked well.

  2. Comment by Juanita Wiggins

    April 8, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    I remember when you have to do that and it did work very well need to go back to it get them out side and make them work the other things that work if you found a large amount of trash and there name in there make them put up trash too

  3. Comment by Martin Lindsay

    April 9, 2017 at 8:21 am

    If I report someone throwing litter out of their car or truck window will anything be done to them ?

  4. Comment by wgsmith

    April 10, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    we should us inmates for this turned out some fine work.My thought task all they are doing setting working out and watching tv.I work for a government that has used inmates and have my opinion take the money and use this for screening the inmates that are going too be on the litter crew.Thanks

  5. Comment by Adjoran

    April 11, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Police can’t write a summons based on citizen complaints, they have to see it happen with their own eyes. The people who toss trash aren’t bright, but they aren’t dumb enough to do it where a cop can see them. Bagged trash is different, though – there is almost always an envelope with the name and address. These offenders need to be out there picking it up. And let nonviolent jail inmates do it voluntarily – give them a day off sentence for every 8 hours trash duty. But in the long run, only changing the culture will solve the problem, and that will take a generation or more.

  6. Comment by Mary H Yarborough

    April 13, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    More than one study has demonstrated that cleaner communities trend toward reduced crime. A littered community signals the absence of law enforcement of even the perceived minor violations. As such, littered neighborhoods nearly always correlate with higher crime in that area. Litter-free roads and parks shows “somebody cares, and people are watching,” which has a psychological affect on averting bad behavior. Go into a littered area, and the bad actor assumes that “anything goes” and he’d like be right. Meanwhile, as tested and then used to deflect unruly and unwanted loiterers, retail and convenience stores in the Northern Virginia section of the Capital Beltway saw that loitering disappeared when classical music was piped outside. The lawless and loitering scattered like rats. Yes, litter is a magnet for bad behavior, and cleaner streets and communities signal a proud welcome sign to potential businesses and residents. The late Lady Bird Johnson’s pet project as First Lady to President Lyndon B. Johnson was based on community and roadside cleanliness and beautification. Some concepts are time-tested and worth maintaining. (So, follow the trash dumped along Ireland Creek Drive and you’ll likely find trashy people committing more insidious crimes.)


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