Horry County moves ahead with $333,000 litter program

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – This year Horry County Council has chosen to tackle its litter problem head-on, by opting to spend more than $300,000 on a litter program, aimed at keeping trash off the side of roadways.

"We've only gotten so far with volunteerism," said Bo Ives with Keep Horry County Beautiful.  "The job is bigger than what volunteers can accomplish and the county has gotten that message."

The county chose to spend $333,000 on the litter program that is divided into three phases: enforcement, litter pick up, and education.  This program also will not cost taxpayers any extra.

The program will be paid for using two sources of funding.  More than $200,000 will come from ATAX, and $125,000 will be pulled from the general fund.

This move follows a month long trial, pilot litter program the county put into place last month to figure out the best way to crack down on the litter problem.  The results were presented at the county budget retreat last week.

Ives said one of the biggest findings centered on mechanical litter pick up. He said ATVs were better, used out on rural roads where the trash is spread out.  Ives added that crews on foot had more success picking up litter in urban areas.

"They were able to move speedily, pick up the trash by being on foot. Basically, it was quite littered, so the first initial blast isn't right for mechanical pickup; the best way is by hand," added Ives.

The county also figured out the best, most cost efficient way to pay temporary employees in charge of clean up crews.  Ives said three people will be used on a more permanent basis who will oversee other employees to be brought in when the litter level spikes.

"Then let them hire occasional day laborers as the labor force and let the team leaders be the permanent employees and the day laborers be on call essentially during busier seasons when litter is the problem," added Ives.

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