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.