Word of Conway’s new litter program provided a pick-me-up for Buddy Freeman.
He once lobbied for a litter initiative in his city, but the effort never gained traction. So he helped organize the Keep Horry County Beautiful Committee more than five years ago. That led to more volunteer cleanup groups forming and earlier this year county officials created a publicly-funded litter control unit.
Now Conway’s getting in on the action.
Last week, city leaders announced a new litter program that will work in conjunction with the county’s efforts.
“Really makes me feel good,” Freeman said. “Glad that everybody’s finally realizing what we need to do.”
Conway’s new program targets 10 trouble spots in the city. Mayor Alys Lawson said city staff have been delegating responsibilities.
“They’ve been working to target some hot spot areas where litter’s become a repeat problem,” she said. “They have scheduled different departments, as well as some community groups, to address these different problem areas.”
The county’s litter control team has agreed to clean three of those areas, including two stretches of U.S. 501, every 21 days. The city’s own beautification department is cleaning four locations monthly and volunteer groups, including Christ Community Church and the Conway Rotary Club, will spruce up the stretch of roadway from the Main Street Bridge to S.C. 90. City police, the local Housing Authority and the Crime Watch program are taking the final two spots.
The plan also calls for establishing a monthly community cleanup day that will encourage neighborhood associations, civic groups, youth organizations and individual citizens to grab some gloves and bags and take out the trash.
Along with these changes, city officials are coordinating their annual litter pickup event with the county’s Nov. 8 cleanup. That day will include cleanup events in the 11 county council districts and will culminate with a celebratory concert and cookout at Myrtle Beach Speedway.
“We’ll be more cooperative with their effort,” Lawson said. “We’ve always done ours in the spring, but there’s no magical date to that spring cleanup. … We felt like it’s better to play along.”
This kind of cooperation is essential for combating the county’s trash troubles, said Bo Ives, chairman of the Keep Horry County Beautiful Committee.
“That’s exactly what we’re going to be celebrating on Nov. 8,” he said. “This is a countywide event … The message is that even though we’re establishing a litter control department, it takes all of us.”