The Great Oconee Cleanup

Getting Picky About Litter

Seth Stokes
April 05, 2018 - 9:54 am
Categories: 

The 2nd Annual Great Oconee Cleanup, a partnership of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, the Oconee Economic Alliance, the Keep Oconee Beautiful Association, the School District of Oconee County and Oconee County Solid Waste, is set for Saturday morning, April 21st from 8:30am until Noon. 

Citizens can pre-register for the event by going to www.eventbrite .com and search Great Oconee Clean Up.  Pre-registering will allow the organizers to have an idea of the planned attendance so resources can be planned accordingly.  Those who are participating in the litter pickup will be provided safety vests, gloves, bags, water and litter grabbers; however, those participating must sign a release form before they can participate.

The first 200 registrants will received a free t-shirts.  Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a registered adult. 

The litter pickup area for the event will be along Highway 11 from the intersection of Hwy. 123 and going north to the Pickett Post community.  Those participating are welcome to park in the parking lot of Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative at 2328 Sandifer Boulevard near Westminster the day of the event where they can also register if they have not done so already. Everyone should enter the Highway 11 entrance to Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative.    

Activity buses will provide transportation to the litter pickup areas along Highway 11 and a law enforcement officer will be on each bus to provide safety information before the actual pickup work begins in order to warn volunteers on litter that could dangerous to handle, such as hypodermic needles and illegal drugs.  The buses will also bring those who volunteer back to the parking lot of Blue Ridge Electric after the event is over.

In regards to safety, Sheriff Mike Crenshaw is asking those who participate to not step onto the roadway or asphalt but stay on the side of the road in the area in which you are dropped off and then those individuals will be picked up on that side of the highway.

Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office as well as troopers from the South Carolina Highway Patrol will be assisting with traffic control and safety.  The organizers are working with the South Carolina Department of Transportation to have signs out to help with directions and safety for all those involved.  

“I would encourage all those who are interested to participate in the 2nd Annual Great Oconee Cleanup,” says Sheriff Crenshaw.  “However, if you would like to pick up litter individually in your neighborhood or if you or your church or civic group has adopted a part of a particular road or highway, April 21st would be a great day for a litter pickup in those areas too to coincide with what will be happening along Scenic Highway 11.”

The Sheriff encourages the citizens of Oconee to make an effort to pick up litter all year round, not just during the 2nd Annual Great Oconee Cleanup.  According to Cpl. Brandon Meadows, Environmental Service Officer with the Sheriff’s Office, the recycling centers in Oconee County have trash bags that citizens can take to pick up litter. 

Last year, over 200 volunteers picked up over 2,300 pounds of litter and trash that was collected during the first Great Oconee County Cleanup along a five mile stretch of Highway 123.  The grand total from last year also included thirteen tires and two mattresses.

The Sheriff’s Office implemented an inmate litter crew in 2014 and between that time and the end of 2017, over 35,000 pounds of litter has been collected by the inmate litter crew.

Comments ()