South Carolina’s No. 50 rating in the 2014 American State Litter Scorecard is probably not a surprise for its residents. Among issues cited by the National Anti-Litter Group were lack of (1.) litter taxation, (2.) “container deposits” and (3.) “comprehensive” recycling rules and legislation.
The latter, in particular, has been a long-standing concern of mine as a City resident. A residential curbside recycling program was initiated in the early 1990s with Stan Quarles spearheading the effort. This continues today with a relatively high percentage of homeowners participating with scheduled pick up of electronics – upon request – in addition to the No. 1 and No. 2 plastics, cans and paper.
Since that time, however, the program has not expanded to include public areas – parks, downtown walkways, churches, museums, libraries, schools, etc.
The need is especially obvious at scheduled events: sports tournaments at Citizens Park, Lobster Races, Spring Trials, Steeplechase and Battle of Aiken, SEED, Aiken’s Makin’, etc., when plastic water bottles and aluminum cans abound.
With all that our City offers to its residents and visitors, it should be a leader in our state’s recycling efforts and serve as an example for the education of our citizens.