HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Keep Horry County Beautiful group needs volunteers to help with the annual litter index on February 23. This litter index helps county leaders determine which projects need attention and funding.
Four vans of volunteers will go out in the morning and in the afternoon to 113 different site locations to calculate how littered the area is. These areas include roads, boat landings, and parks. Each person will give a score of "one" to "four", and those scores will be averaged to create an index for the area and an overall index for the county. A score of "one" means the area is relatively clean and does not need immediate attention. A score of "four" means there is a terrible litter problem and the county needs to send crews to clean up right away.
Here are the scores each year since the litter index started:
"We use this litter index to tell us which areas are the most biggest problem areas so we can get crews out immediately if it's terribly bad," said Bo Ives, the chair for Keep Horry County Beautiful. "We can also get this information to our new litter control department within the public works department to come out and clean."
Keep Horry County Beautiful is an affiliate of Palmetto Pride and Keep America Beautiful. Horry County's litter control department is focused on major roadways and entrances into the county. The litter patrol has three groups of volunteers with three hired captains to cover the whole county. The patrol was established two years ago. Ives said if the county leaders and residents don't take pride in keeping the county clean, then why should anyone expect tourists to care.
"It looks terrible to visitors who come here to see the conditions of some of our roadways," said Ives. "If we show that we don't care, they won't either. And they may not come back."
The litter index helps determine how much funding is needed for different projects and which ones should be done first. Keep Horry County Beautiful is encouraging residents and business owners to take control of their environments and pick up trash and litter regularly throughout the year.
"Pick up," urged Ives. "Don't litter in the first place. Help us with our efforts. Please come out with one of our cleanups. Once you do a cleanup, you realize how much work is involved in picking up. You really do want to lash out at those you see who aren't."
If you commit to a cleanup day three times a year, the county will help provide you with equipment and support. The county will assist with materials that you might need like orange vests, pickers, gloves, and trash bags. And they will also coordinate police officers to monitor the area if you are picking up along a busy roadway.
Pizza will be provided for all participants. If you would like to volunteer, contact Nancy Tindall at 843-915-6341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.