Litter Challenge

COLUMBIA -- The South Carolina Legislature proclaimed May as Adopt-A-Highway Month and honored the 21,005 volunteers and group winners with a concurrent resolution on May 7.

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Grays Girls from Jasper County was awarded the State Group of the Year.

“These volunteers do it because they care about their communities,” said Sarah Lyles, executive director for PalmettoPride. “They want to make a difference and lead by example, hoping with each cleanup that litter will not come back.”

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The financial benefit or “cost avoidance” this provides to state and local governments equates to almost $6 million. The dedication of the many volunteers in South Carolina’s Adopt-A-Highway program have helped state and local governments save millions in costs to pick up litter.

“South Carolina is a beautiful state and maintaining that beauty can be a daunting task” Lyles said. “If it were not for these incredible volunteers, state and local governments would have to cover the cost of litter removal, something that is needed but often not available to the extent needed in administrative budgets.”

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The benefits of adopting a highway are many -- personal pride, honoring a loved one, community service hour requirements – but perhaps the most important reason is that volunteers can connect to their community, building a responsibility for its overall health. Clean communities are safe communities. Clean communities are good for tourism and economic development.

Since 1988, Adopt-A-Highway volunteers have been cleaning up litter along South Carolina highways, providing a crucial source of litter removal services from the mountains to the seas. PalmettoPride has coordinated the program for the SC Department of Transportation since 2012.

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Adopt-A-Highway 2018 statistics:

• 21,005 volunteers

• 1,574 groups

• 4,875 miles adopted

• 1,093,539 pounds of trash collected

• 150 new groups

For more information about Adopt-A-Highway, contact PalmettoPride at info@palmettopride.org 803-758-6034.

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