HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — More than 100 bags of trash were collected Saturday at three locations across Horry County as community members pitched in as part of News13’s annual Talkin’ Trash Community Cleanup Day.

More than 120 community members turned out for the event, which was also sponsored by the Horry County Solid Waste Authority, Keep Horry County Beautiful, Horry County government and Keep South Carolina Beautiful.

“Keeping our community litter free means keeping our waterways free of litter, our ditches free of litter so that helps keep our water moving freely through our ditches,” said Ashley Cowen, interim director of Horry County Parks and Recreation. “It means beautification, it means keeping things looking nice which contributes to good tourism.”

Among those pitching in in Socastee was Brooke Vu, the reigning Miss North Myrtle Beach and former Miss Georgetown and Miss Myrtle Beach.

“I want to beautify our communities, and I think we can do that by inspiring everyday individual people to get up, get out and do their part,” Vu said.

One person who came to help said they came to spend time with their family while helping the environment.

“If trash is like everywhere, some trash gets into the ocean and it kills a lot of animals,” said Makayla, who was with her mother.

Gavin Sharp, a second-grader, also pitched in.

“So the animals don’t get stuck in the plastic bottles and they don’t suffocate themselves,” he said.

In all, volunteers filled up 109 bags of litter, estimated to weigh nearly 3,000 pounds.

“It’s just so exciting to see that many people care and what to make a difference,” said Kendra Dickerson, the recycling coordinator for the Horry County Solid Waste Authority. “To pick up the litter that somebody else has thrown down that’s not their responsibility but they’re helping clean it up.”

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Claire Purnell is a multimedia journalist at News13. Claire is from Louisville, Kentucky. Claire joined the News13 team in January 2023 after graduating from the University of Colorado-Boulder in December 2022. Follow Claire on Twitter and read more of her work here.