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Less than a month ago Evans Street and Greenlee Street were plagued with horrendous amounts of roadside trash. Countless numbers of tires, torn open garbage bags and furniture including mattresses, a couch, and a broken flat screen littered both sides of these two roads in Williamsburg County. Ironically, the couch seen here was dumped off directly in front of an Adopt a Highway Litter Program sign and across from a 'penalty for littering' sign.

Photo by Tami Rodgers

As they say, it takes a village. When it comes to litter cleanup, the saying fits. A lot of citizens are gearing up for the Great American Cleanup (GAC). Keep America Beautiful works to inspire people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment through programs like the Great American Cleanup.

Williamsburg County citizens can participate in the GAC from May 1 through June 1. If you would like to organize a cleanup in your community or neighborhood call the Williamsburg HomeTown Chamber at (843) 355-6431 for information and to obtain bags and reachers while supplies last.

There are also other ways to participate. The Lions Club is having its fourth annual Black River Cleanup, Saturday, May 25, beginning at the Mill Street Landing. For details, email Dr. Louis Drucker at dmdranch@ftc-i.net.

Senator Ronnie Sabb is planning the third annual Team Up To Cleanup Saturday, June 1. He will provide reachers, gloves, and bags. More details to come.

According to Keep America Beautiufl.org, the majority of roadside litter was attributed to motorists (53%). However, a sizeable percentage was attributed to pedestrians (23%), improperly covered loads (16%), debris from the vehicles themselves (2%), and spillage from receptacles in the surrounding vicinity (1%).

Historically in studies of litter, there has been a specific emphasis on beverage containers. The current estimates project a total of 1.4 billion beverage containers on our nation’s roadways (3% of all litter). While the majority of these containers are beer (30%) and soft drinks (25%), there has been a growth in the number of water (6%) and sports drinks (3%). Multi-linear regression analyses were performed of site attributes that correlated with the quantity of observed litter. Key findings included:

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Residential areas were 40% less littered than roadways in general.

Locations near loading docks were 29% less littered.

Roadways near convenience stores were 11% more littered.

Roadways near commercial establishments were 11% more littered.

Solid waste and recycling facilities were associated with less litter than average within 1 mile, but more litter for 2-5 miles. This effect increased as the number of facilities increased.