Eagle Point Home Owners Association recently became county winners for having the cleanest two-mile stretch of highway in Clarendon County.
The association has been cleaning a mile of S.C. 260 and a mile of Kenwood Road for the last four years. They clean up two miles of highway three to four times a year, according to Debbie Richardson, who serves as highway committee chairperson for the association.
While there are many groups and individuals within the county who clean up sides of highways and roads, litter continues to be a messy problem. A problem that is preventable and an act that is punishable by law, according to Hal Kennedy, Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office code enforcement/litter control officer.
Kennedy said that it is very hard to catch someone in the act of littering. It’s also almost impossible to trace common litter items such as plastic cups, beer cans, bottles, small bags and other small items to their rightful owner. He said that large trash bag dumping could be identified if a person’s name or address is found inside the bag.
The Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office has two options when issuing a citation for litter. The CCSO can issue a county citation of up to $200, or a state citation of up to $1,000, according to Kennedy. He said that the CCSO’s goal however is not to make money for the county through littering fines but rather to stop the problem all together.
“I don’t look at litter control as a moneymaking program but rather what is going to prevent an individual from repeating that action,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy said that it is not uncommon for him to track an individual’s residence through the litter, and ask them to go and pick up their trash.
“This is a more effective way to prevent them from littering again,” he said.
Buddy Walter of Patriot Road (off Hwy. 260) said that he believes the litter on the street that he lives on is coming from locals who live in the area and not necessarily from out-of-towners. Walter said that he would like to see a stricter enforcement for those who litter and stricter penalties.
Clarendon County Recycling Coordinator Madaline Braxton said that not littering is about showing pride in a resident’s community.
Organizing trash pickups may be another solution in solving the problem.
“If everyone would just pickup trash in front of their house and a little bit in their neighborhood we would be able to significantly reduce the trash problem,” said Braxton.
There are 12 trash disposal/recycling centers in Clarendon County where trash can be taken to including: Barrineau, Clarendon Hall, Davis Station, Foreston, Oakdale, Jordan, June Burn, Landfill, North Santee, Turbeville, Panola and Sardinia.
A group in Clarendon County that wants to participate in the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway program should contact SCDOT Clarendon Maintenance Director James Hodge at 435-4431 or email@example.com. Adopt-A-Highway participants must agree to adopt two miles of highway and participate in four cleanups a year. For more information visit www.scdot.org and click on the Adopt-A-Highway link at the bottom of the page.
Richardson said that he is asking anyone who lives around the Wyboo and Jordan areas to start a trash pickup from Lane’s Shopping Center to Jordan on Hwy. 260.
PalmettoPride, a legislative initiative made possible through the cooperation of the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Public Safety, runs a Litter Busters Hotline, allowing residents to report those that litter from automobiles. The number is 1-877-7LITTER (1-877-754-8837) or by dialing #LB on an AT&T or Alltel phone. The number is toll-free, and the location, time and the license plate number of the littering vehicle must be provided.