Guest Editorial: Simply pick up a piece of litter

As a Game Warden with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources SCDNR, I know what a a massive, seemingly endless undertaking it is to enforce litter control. That’s why our department began working with Palmetto Pride this year to help clean up Richland County.

Palmetto Prides’ slogan, Litter Trashes Everyone, rings true. The amount of litter in our community is astonishing. Our goal is to bring violators to justice and expose the destruction litter poses to our communities and to our wildlife.

In recent months, our efforts have seen a great deal of advancement through our cooperation with Palmetto Pride and through the use of their enforcement tools. Our officers have made numerous cases for dumping more than 15 pounds of litter, including yard debris, air conditioning units and moving supplies in unsanctioned locations.

We have also increased the enforcement of our litter laws along rivers. Violators are required to clean up the very area in which they trashed as part of their punishment and fines.

In 2018 alone there where over eighty litter tickets issued and litterers made to pick up nearly seven hundred bags of trash in Richland County.

Richland County Game Wardens investigated and successfully prosecuted one of the largest hazardous waste cases in the South Carolina’s history this year, with the offender being held accountable in federal court by the Environmental Protection Agency.

As officers of the state we have many duties. Litter remains one of our highest priorities, as it affects us all and our wildlife. It is a never ending task to apprehend and prosecute litter bugs.

Although we work around the clock on this issue, we can’t do it alone. We need the help of everyone in the community to control the litter problem in Richland County.

How can you help?

Join an organization like Palmetto Pride, report a litter bug to the litter busters hot line at 1-877-7LITTER (754-8837), or simply pick up a piece of trash. 

These small acts of responsibility can have a great impact on our community and make Richland County a place humans and wildlife alike want to inhabit.  With the new year, we ask all of you to reconsider how you handle your trash.

Work with us to keep our community litter free.