HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - It's not hard to find trash littering South Carolina roadways. It's possible the items blew out of trash cans or are the result of careless drivers. Either way, they're all contributing to South Carolina's latest distinction - America's dirtiest state.
The American Society for Public Administration, a public advocacy group out of D.C., released it's 2014 American Litter Scorecard. The group says failing to put container deposit and recycling laws in place, not prioritizing enforcement of existing laws, and spending only $21 per person, each year, for environmental services is why the Palmetto state ranked worst.
The state was also placed second for the most wasteful, due to lack of recycling. Folks who live here disagree.
"We don't really see it," says Bill Ford. "I don't know if it's coming from out-of-towners or folks who just don't care anymore."
John McNeil says, "I think some parts of South Carolina are dirty and other parts aren't dirty. It really just depends on where you live."
Locally, there's an effort to turn things around. In April, Horry County passed the first reading to set aside $333,000 for the next fiscal year to hire part time litter removal crews. Council also declared April as Zero Tolerance month for litter. As a result, police have already given out 45 citations, this month. The county also counts on its 'Keep Horry County Beautiful Committee' which works to secure grant money for ongoing efforts and organizes community clean-up events.
"You know litter is a three-pronged approach. One is education, one is enforcement and one is pick-up," says Lisa Bourcier, the County Spokesperson.
No matter how active government is, ultimately the litter issue is up to you.