In an effort to keep the community “clean and green” the Laurinburg/Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a spring litter sweep this Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until 3 p.m.
Participants are invited by the chamber to gather a team and collect trash within the county during those hours, and then drop-off filled bags at any of the five recycling centers located around Scotland County.
“We consider it a great way to build community pride,” said Chamber President Theresa Pinto, who went on to call the county’s litter “discouraging.”
Cleaning the roadsides will also help the county recruit business, said Lamson.
“It’s all about first impressions, and while we may not notice it because we drive by it every day, to people from the outside, it stands out,” added Lamson, who anticipates a level of participation at least equaling that of last year’s spring and fall sweeps.
More than 3,000 pounds of litter was collected by volunteers during a sweep last fall, a total which represents an increase over the sweeps of years past.
Lamson gives credit for the increased participation to moving the sweep day to Saturday as well as the addition of a cash prize to the teams that collect the most trash, changes first put into place last year.
“We noticed more trash was collected and the participation of some different teams from different parts of the community after we moved the sweeps to Saturday,” said Lamson.
“Having the sweeps on Thursday and Friday, as we did before last year, really limited the participation of the business community.”
This year’s sweep has already enrolled teams from a retiree group, a church group and the city of Laurinburg, along with a number of others.
Those who cannot participate on Saturday are invited to register with the chamber and clean up when they can during the week.
Supplies for the litter sweep, including vests, gloves and trashbags will be made available at the chamber office (606 Atkinson Street) through Friday of this week from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily or at any of the Scotland County Recycling Centers.
Supply pick-up and bag drop-off locations will be at each of the following recycling locations: Stewartsville South, Williamson/Livingston Quarters, Sneads Grove, Wagram and Palmer Road.
Volunteers are asked to notify the onsite volunteers at the recycling centers of the number of bags of garbage that they collected for drop-off as there will be cash prizes for the teams picking up the most trash around the county.
The “King of the Mountain” first place team will receive a $200 grand prize, while the second place team will receive $100 for their efforts.
According to Lamson, County Solid Waste Enforcement Officer J.R. Horne has seen all manner of attempts to game the system, from the inclusion of residential trash to weighted objects, so those looking to use tactics of questionable propriety to win the prize are reminded that teams can be disqualified from the sweep.
“We have found that people really care about winning that first prize,” said Lamson.
“They really want to be crowned ‘King of the Mountain’ because even a mountain of trash is still a mountain.”
Those with questions or wishing to learn more about the county’s targeted “high litter” areas are invited to call the Chamber of Commerce at 910-276-7420.