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Litter prevention, technology combine to clean up Greenwood County

Cleaning up Greenwood County has been a difficult task during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Litter Prevention Coordinator Maggie McMahon has taken a more technological approach to solving litter problems.

McMahon, who has been on the job almost a year, has found ways of fighting litter even when normal pickup operations have slowed down. Reporting litter is now more user friendly.

“I can’t be on every single road, every single day,” McMahon said.

Because of this, she has put together a way for anyone to report litter within Greenwood County. A link on the litter prevention page of the Greenwood County website takes litter spotters to a page where they can give information about where the litter is located. Pictures of litter can also be uploaded on the form.

The information is sent to McMahon and is put together with other reports of litter so she can identify hot spots in the county.

“It plots it on a map,” McMahon said.

This allows her to know where to focus cleanup efforts.

She wants to focus more attention on illegal dumping too, which has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Most of this dumping occurs when the convenience centers are closed,” she said.

McMahon said the county also has four active cameras for litter detection and she said more are on the way. These cameras will be placed in areas that are deemed hot spots for litter.

The high definition cameras allow for litter prevention staff to identify vehicle types, license plates and more.

McMahon is partnering with Good Times Brewing to have another litter pickup on the Heritage Trail from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday. The group plans to meet in the parking lot of South Main Baptist Church.

The previous litter pickup in June had 61 volunteers that collected 38 bags of trash and two trailer loads of bulk items from Grace Street Park.

McMahon said social distancing will be observed and materials used for cleanup will be sanitized.

“We’ve got to get back to picking up litter after COVID,” she said.

Contact staff writer James Hicks at jhicks@indexjournal.com or on Twitter @jameshicks3.

COVID-19

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

State health officials reported 1,110 new confirmed cases and one new probable case of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, along with 27 more confirmed deaths. An elderly Saluda County resident who died Wednesday was among the new deaths.

Educators in Greenwood County school districts 50 and 51 are excited to return for a new school year, but they understand the trepidation people might have because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Greenwood County added 38 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the county's highest daily tally in more than two weeks. Despite the high daily case count, the seven-day new case average is still half of what it was 15 days ago.

Restaurants in Greenwood are prepared for Gov. Henry McMaster’s newest restrictions on dining establishments. The executive order goes into effect Monday.

Greenwood County School District 51 students will return to school on Aug. 27 and the 2020-21 school year will officially end June 4.

Face coverings will be required at the Greenwood County Courthouse starting Monday. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Don Beatty issued the order Thursday.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As the Lakelands and the country respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has led to state and national emergency declarations, it is vital for everyone to have up-to-date information about the virus and its spread. As such, we're providing free access to all of our COVID-19 coverage, which is available on this page.

Here's the latest information on COVID-19 from health agencies and hospitals: