Aiken County still has 'so much' work to do to reduce litter problem significantly long-term

·2 min read

Jan. 21—Litter was the focus of Aiken County Trash Talk on Jan. 19 at the Aiken County Government Center.

"There is so much work we still have to do," said Kandace Cave.

She is the program coordinator for Keep Aiken County Beautiful, or KABC, which organized the event.

Cave reported that the portion of the Aiken County Code of Ordinances pertaining to litter is undergoing a review by a committee.

She and KACB Chairman John Brightbill are among the panel's members.

"County Council initiated the review," Cave said. "They believe there are some areas that we can improve and some that need to be changed. Some things just need to be defined on the county level."

"We have room on the committee for two more people, so if anybody wants to join us we would love to have them," she continued. "We've had one meeting, and it was just to kind of get the game plan going. We plan to meet at least once a month until we get it done."

To reduce the amount of litter significantly long-term, Cave believes Aiken County needs to improve infrastructure, which she defined as providing "things that make not littering easier," such as plenty of trash cans and recycling bins in areas where pedestrian traffic is high.

In addition, the county would benefit from stronger enforcement of laws that punish litterbugs, according to Cave.

The Aiken County Code Enforcement Division has three officers that concentrate on litter issues. Cave would like to see Aiken County Sheriff's Office deputies, public safety officers in local towns and cities, and state troopers become more involved in enforcement.

Cave said she also wants the county to work harder to raise awareness of the litter problem and to offer rewards to residents who "do the right thing" in matters involving litter.

During Trash Talk, attendees had the opportunity to make both oral and written comments. They also were able to ask questions.

There was a litter panel discussion, and the participants included Aiken City Council member Gail Diggs, County Code Enforcement Officer Samuel "Herbi" Ford, Brightbill and William Gibbs of the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

Among the suggestions made by panel members were raising fines for littering and increasing the efforts to teach litter prevention in schools.

"Aiken County is really strong on picking up litter," Cave said. "We have Adopt-a-Highway, and we've had it for a long time."

KABC also had held litter cleanups in various locations in the county.

A new paid county litter removal crew will begin work in the near future, Cave said.

For more information about KACB, call 803-502-9000 ext. 3356, email KACB@aikencountysc.gov or visit the KACB page on Facebook.