Horry County is getting trashed and county council looks for solutions

Horry County leaders say trash is a big problem and they want to do something about it.

One focus will be cleaning up the major entryways to the Grand Strand.

At a council workshop this week, county officials said there seems to be litter everywhere and they're looking at a three-part plan to get rid of it.

"One dealing with education, one with litter enforcement and litter pickup," said Horry County public information officer Lisa Bourcier. "So county council wants staff to come back with some options to put together a program."

The leader of the Chicora Indian Tribe has been heavily involved with litter cleanups, especially at county boat landings.

He says it's good to see the county getting serious about trash.

"It's about time," said Chief Clyde Strickland.

Strickland says the focus on major entryways is fine, but he's also concerned about illegal dump sites, including some in wildlife preserves.

"There's 14 to 20-foot holes that have been filled up with trash. Anywhere from washers, dryers, to refrigerators, tires, car hoods, and we need some help," Strickland said.

County council members say they want to see what they can do soon while working within this year's budget.

That means they probably won't hire additional litter enforcement officers right away.

"We could be paying for additional overtime for law enforcement officers, we are looking at hiring some day laborers to actually do the litter pickup that we have along the roadways," Bourcier said.

Chief Strickland says all those things are good, but it's time for everyone, not just the county, to get involved in cleaning up.

"We have pushed this land, Mother Earth, to a point to where she's reacting."

Bourcier says some county residents have asked why county jail inmates couldn't be used for litter cleanup.

She says about 90 percent of people in the jail are pre-trial inmates and by law, they can't be used for that kind of labor.

Bourcier says county staff is putting together a budget they plan to present to County Council at a March 11 meeting.