When driving to work, I usually turn left off National Cemetery on to Old Wallace Gregg Road. A lot of people going to Francis Marion University use that route as a cut-through to the school.
Whenever they cut the grass along that stretch of road, I am amazed by how much trash the mowers churn up. I mean, it’s really ridiculous, and something that always irritates me.
Normally I wouldn’t have anything in common with State Representative Richie Yow of Chesterfield County, but it seems he is irritated about the same thing. He introduced legislation to a House transportation panel recommending trash be picked up before mowing along state roads.
The Department of Transportation spends about $20 million a year on mowing and they say that would double to $40 million if they had to pick up trash, too.
Volunteers and inmates can only do so much. Last month alone, 22 inmate litter crews picked up 9,400 bags of trash along South Carolina roads. In 2019, 110,000 bags of trash were collected.
Twenty-one years ago, Lou Holtz, the former South Carolina football coach, told a reporter, “South Carolinians must have the cleanest cars in the nation because all their trash is on the ground.”
His comments led to the formation of an anti-litter non-profit, Palmetto Pride. But litter along South Carolina’s roadways continues to be an eyesore and an embarrassment.
Do you throw trash out your car window? Someone is doing it…I don’t think the wildlife along Old Wallace Gregg drinks out of McDonald’s cups.
If you litter, let me speak the truth to you. Sometimes people don’t like to hear the truth but that doesn’t make it any less true.
If you litter, you are a sorry human being. My mama used to say certain people were just “sorry” and I think it is an appropriate description for those of you throwing trash out your car window.
Palmetto Pride has a hotline you can call to report a litterbug (1-877-7LITTER, 754-8837). The offender will be sent a letter from SCDMV that is not a citation but a warning.
So I am going to be on the lookout for you. It will be a nice diversion from coaching my basketball team.
I saw an old South Carolina license plate the other day. I think we still have the “smiling faces”, but we’ve got to work on the “beautiful places”.