Sumter inmates to help pick up litter in new program

Sumter Litter Alliance also wants public involvement

BY KAYLA ROBINS
kayla@theitem.com
Posted 1/28/18

Sumter County inmates are now helping curb Sumter's litter problem, and residents who also want to help will have the opportunity to hear what one group is doing to fight litter.

The Sumter Litter Alliance will hold a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. …

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Sumter inmates to help pick up litter in new program

Sumter Litter Alliance also wants public involvement

Posted

Sumter County inmates are now helping curb Sumter's litter problem, and residents who also want to help will have the opportunity to hear what one group is doing to fight litter.

The Sumter Litter Alliance will hold a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 26 at Swan Lake Visitors Center to discuss the mission of the group, to address concerns from the public and to invite attendees to get involved with their efforts.

The meeting should last no more than an hour, according to Nicole Bailey, vice president of operations for the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce.

Bailey said while the group cannot take credit, as Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis has already taken steps to begin a litter pickup program before the group met with him in December, the Litter Alliance is excited to announce that prisoners from Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center are being allowed to volunteer for trash pickup duty.

"We want to thank the sheriff for his diligence in beginning this program," Bailey said, "and we are excited to see it grow."

At the meeting, the group will share some of the initiatives they are working on and will take suggestions from attendees.

"We've had great suggestions from some of the folks we have talked to already, but we're always open for more," she said. "Some of the feedback we have received has been negative, citing past efforts that were not successful. Failure shouldn't be an option for our community, so we can't dwell on the past.

"Everyone we have spoken with agrees this is a huge problem for our community, and we need total community involvement to enact real change."

S.C. Department of Transportation representatives will be at the meeting to take commitment applications from anyone wanting to participate in the Adopt-A-Highway program in anticipation of the group's community cleanup event that will take place later this spring, Bailey said.

Neighborhood associations, church groups, civic organizations and any other interested groups are encouraged to participate.

Scott Burkett, group organizer and Realtor with ERA Wilder Realty, said the group will not be successful if residents do not get involved.

"This must be a total community effort. We had very successful meetings with law enforcement agencies as well as magistrate court judges, and everyone is on board with assisting in the effort," he said. "Now, it's time for us to get the public involved.

"We're not going to do the cleanup for you. We've heard the complaints, and now we need people to 'put their money where their mouth is,' so to speak."

public feedback sought before the meeting

Residents are asked to share their photos and stories about litter problems in the area at SumterLitterAlliance@gmail.com.

Submissions should include your name, contact information and the date, time and locations of any photos submitted.