PICKENS COUNTY — Unable to stomach the accumulating amounts of trash on roadways and neighborhoods, Sen. Rex Rice and Sheriff Rick Clark decided to take matters into their own hands.
“I had a number of people call me about the litter situation in Pickens County and just how bad we looked,” said Rice. “The first thing I did was call Rick Clark and asked him if we had a patrol picking up. He said we did one some roads, but not on (highway) 123.”
Rice said he then discussed the matter with the S.C. Department of Transportation.
“You know, we’ve had an ‘Adopt a Highway’ program in place for quite some time, but it’s kind of gone down hill recently. Anyway, I found out that section (of 123) between Easley and Clemson was open. No one had that.”
Rice said he only had to consider the problem for a minute before he decided to take action.
“I can’t very well ask someone to go do something that I’m not willing to do myself,” he said. “So my wife Ruth and I went out and we picked up about 120 bags of trash in that section.”
Rice estimated that translated to around 2,300 pounds of garbage — over a ton.
Another 6.2 tons of trash was removed from the highway by inmates under the supervision of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.
Wanting to stay on top of the litter situation in the county, Rice decided to call in PalmettoPride for some help.
“I called them and asked what we could do about this and they said they would come on up here and do a kick off and make the whole month of March about cleaning up the county,” he said.
Kick-off for PalmettoPride’s litter campaign was Friday.
“We are excited to be a part of this campaign and applaud the Delegation and Sheriff Clark for their leadership,” said executive director of PalmettoPride Sarah Lyles. “Having supportive leadership and active litter prevention programs makes a huge difference in the overall appearance of their communities.”
PalmettoPride and Pickens County coordinated a week long, countywide litter blitz in 2007. In that one week, 1,347 volunteers picked up 88 tons of trash, Lyles said.
“We challenge Pickens County citizens to beat those results,” stated Lyles. “If 1,347 volunteers participated in one week, think about what we can do in a month.”
The organization wants to encourage Pickens County citizens to organize local cleanup efforts on roadways, neighborhoods, public places and waterways.
In addition, businesses are encouraged to keep their grounds clean and litter-free.
For more information, contact PalmettoPride at 877-723-7755 or email email@example.com.
“There’s still some work to be done, I’m sure I’ll be out there again, but for now at least, I think we’re off to a good start,” said Rice.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.