Florence County plans to combat trash troubles with inmate litter crews

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FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Many Florence County residents have noticed garbage piling up on the side of the roads. At the moment, the only option available to deal with the trash is to contact the authorities and report those who litter.

Fast food wrappers, beer cans, liquor bottles, marijuana packaging and mattresses are just a few of the items you can find on the side of the road throughout the county. Soon, though, inmate crews will be sent out to dispose of the refuse.

“Throughout my neighborhood personally it is a big issue,” Florence resident Latasha Reid said. “I haven’t seen any trucks or any crews come through there to clean up anything in our area.”

That’s because county litter cleanup crews haven’t been active in our area since last year.

“Before COVID, we had crews working five days a week. We’d finish up one road and move to the next,” Florence County Environmental Services officer Todd Floyd said. “Since March of 2020, we’ve had no inmate crew.” Excessive amounts of trash are an issue throughout the county, and not just on the sides of the roads. The dumpsters at a trash collection location in Lake City are full. Residents must instead dump their trash in a massive pile.

“I think we have seven or eight throughout the county,” Floyd said. “That’s where you go and take your household garbage or yard waste.” A representative for Waste Management, the company contracted by Florence County to handle trash pickup, says its behind schedule due in part to a driver shortage.

Floyd said that when you see someone illegally dumping garbage, you should get in touch with his office.

“Give us a call and we will do our best to pursue that legally in the courts and punish that person,” Floyd said.

Tipping the police about litterbugs is something Reid has done before.

“Just driving down the street and someone would throw out a lit cigarette and it would come towards my car,” Reid said. “I don’t like it.”

Floyd said the county just purchased a new van. It will dispatch two inmate litter crews five days a week as soon as next month. Waste Management’s representative said it will hire subcontractors to mitigate its delays.

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