Keep Waste In Its Place
Litter, defined as misplaced solid waste, is harmful to Lexington County and to South Carolina. Litter endangers our environment, our wildlife, and our economy. It pollutes our neighborhoods, decreases property values, and destroys our county’s natural beauty. Litter can also lead to increased crime; it signals to criminals that residents don’t care what happens in their neighborhood and makes the area more vulnerable.
Lexington County Solid Waste Management works hard to keep waste in its place, and asks that you do the same.
What Lexington County Is Doing To Prevent and Control Litter
- In January, 2018, the Solid Waste Management Department established a four person litter crew. Between January and December, 2018, they picked up...
- 4,121 bags of litter weighing approximately 29,671 pounds (or 14.84 tons),
- 11 mattresses,
- 32 pieces of electronic items,
- 127 tires, and
- additional furniture, scrap metal, car parts and construction debris.
- In January, 2018, the Solid Waste Management Department established an email address for residents to use to report littered roadways in need of attention. It is ReportLitter@lex-co.com.
- In 2018, grant funds from PalmettoPride were used to purchase over 2,000 tarps which were distributed to residents with unsecured loads along with an educational flyer as part of a "Tarp Your Load campaign."
- In February, 2019, the Solid Waste Management Department established a "Lexington County Litter Control Champions" program through which litter pick-up supplies (grabbers, gloves, safety vests, etc.) from PalmettoPride are given to residents who volunteer to pick up litter in their communities. In return, the volunteers simply report the amount they collect. Servpro has generously offered to help collect and dispose of bags left on roadsides by volunteers.
- In 2019, grant funds from PalmettoPride are being used to encourage litter prevention through a "Love Lexington County; Don't Trash It!" marketing campaign.
- In 2019, two Code Enforcement Officers are being hired by Solid Waste Management to assist with the enforcement of litter laws.
Email for Reporting Littered Roadways
Help us clean up Lexington County roadways, highways and waterways. If you see an area with excessive litter, email location details to ReportLitter@lex-co.com. Lexington County’s Solid Waste Management Litter Crew will work to clean it up. Responses will not be sent from the automated email system but requests will be noted and added to the crew's work schedule.
Become a Lexington County Litter Control Champion!
Do you pick up litter around your home or business or would you like to start? If you have a group of people to do this, please contact Keep the Midlands Beautiful at 803-733-1139 or firstname.lastname@example.org to adopt a highway (or roadway). If you don't have a group and still want to help, contact Lexington County's Recycling Coordinator, Traude Sander, at (803) 785-3340 or email@example.com to join this new program and to receive free supplies provided by PalmettoPride. Click here for additional information and click here for the request form.
Thank you to the following Litter Control Champions for helping to clean up Lexington County!
- Sandra Murray
- Sheila McCaskill
- Servpro - West Columbia and Lexington
- Goff Family
- Maryellen Stewart
- Alton Crapps and Grandson
- Anonymous couple in Leesville
What YOU Can Do to Prevent and Control Litter
1. Secure every load, every time and do it right.
- Tie garbage bags tightly, twice.
- Take bags to the Collection and Recycling Centers before they disintegrate.
- Use a tarp or net to cover all loads and/or secure them with a rope or bungee cord.
- If items are placed in a garbage can for transportation, cover the can and secure the lid.
- What seems secure while stopped, may not be secure while driving. Things shift, roll, blow, bump, and fly out. It’s not them causing that ugly litter. It is us. Let’s make it stop.
2. Report people who litter.
- Call PalmettoPride’s Litter Busters Hotline at 1-877-7LITTER to report their license plate, what you saw, where and when you saw it. They’ll get a letter in the mail and hopefully they’ll think twice and be more careful next time.
- Go to PalmettoPride (report a litterbug) or Bust a Litterbug for more information.
3. Convince your friends, family, coworkers and neighbors to secure their loads correctly
and not to litter.
- It might take a few more minutes to add a tarp but it will have a tremendous impact!
Tarp Your Load! It's the Law.
Did you know that in Lexington County and in South Carolina it is illegal to operate a vehicle from which material is escaping? In fact, it is a crime punishable by a maximum fine of $1,087 and a minimum of 15 hours of litter pick-up. Litter decreases the beauty of our county, decreases property value and is harmful to wildlife.
According to PalmettoPride, unsecured loads are the number one source of litter in South Carolina and they are therefore illegal in South Carolina and Lexington County. Please remember to secure your load and tarp as needed when traveling to and from the county’s collection and recycling centers and landfill.
Download and share this flyer to encourage people you know to tarp their loads.
PalmettoPride (report a litterbug)