Litter Education

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Litter is misplaced trash or solid waste. By working with state and other local agencies Rock Hill Clean & Green works very hard to keep the City of Rock Hill clean and litter free. Litter is not only unattractive; it also harms wildlife and can impact the economic development of the City. Read below to find out more about the litter problem in South Carolina and what YOU can to do help!

Know Your Litter Laws!

Littering is a crime punishable by a fine up to $1,000, 30 Days in Jail, or Court-required public service  You are breaking the law if: 

State Litter Laws

  • Put or throw any litter, garbage or trash on any public street, alley or other public place in the city, including cigarette butts
  • Put or throw any litter, garbage or trash upon the property of another person, corporation or agency
  • Deposit household or business trash in a park garbage can or in a can that is for motorists or pedestrians
  • Deposit household or business trash at any unapproved disposal site

To report someone littering, call 1-877-7LITTER.

Local Litter Laws

  • Place outside of any building - discarded furniture, refrigerator, stove, water heater or other major appliance
  • Place outside of any building - machinery, equipment, junked vehicle or vehicle parts
  • Place outside of any building - mattresses, building materials or any other accumulation of trash except as allowed by city collection
  • Sweep or push litter from buildings, property or sidewalks into streets, sidewalks and storm drains (This litter should be picked up and put into household or commercial trash bins.)
  • Allow litter to accumulate at fences, wall bases, grassy areas, embankments or other similar collecting points
  • Do not keep the curb, gutter or street line free of litter

To report violations, call Public Works at 329-5600.

Sign Laws 
You are breaking the law if:

  • Place signs in public rights-of-way unless given permission. (Posts or signs will be removed by the City at your expense
  • Display a sign which is not a part of the building design
  • Attach signs to trees, utility poles or other unapproved outside structures (includes posters, placards or other advertising material)

To report sign violations, call the Development Services Department at 803/329-7080.

 

Litter Myths

  • Hey, It's Somebody Else's Problem
    People think littering isn't littering if it's on someone else's property. You know, like in a mall parking lot or at a playground or park. It's not. You may not be the owner of the lot (or the river or the beach or park) but you're responsible for your trash. Put it where it belongs.
  • Somebody Else Will Pick It Up
    Here's the old excuse moms have been fighting since time began. Is it the same people who leave their socks on the floor and their dirty dishes on the counter? Probably. But unlike smelly socks and caked-on leftovers, leaving your trash where it doesn't belong can get you a big fine or some time in the Big House. Then, quite likely, you'll be the "someone else" picking up litter on the roadside and just maybe you'll learn a lesson mom would be proud of: Clean up after yourself.
  • Everybody Else Is Doing It
    Who'll notice, right? More people every day are deciding they're fed up with litter, so you sure won't be making any friends when you toss that trash where it doesn't belong. Unless you count the law enforcement officer who will be happy to spend some talking with you as he writes out a ticket that'll probably cost you a minimum of $465. And then there's the judge who might just treat you to some time in jail.
    Some people think it's OK to litter as long as they toss their trash in a popular spot. Guess what?. It isn't OK. It's ugly, it's stupid, and it's against the law!

Remember: Litter trashes everyone. Don't do it!

Impact on SC
Litter doesn't just affect the appearance of South Carolina. It has a significant environmental and economic impact on the state. 

Every Little Bit of Litter Has an Impact
With efforts to make the public aware of the effects of litter growing more intense every day, South Carolinians are realizing that litter is a real problem in our state. And it's not just our pride that's hurting.

When It's Not in the Trash Can, It Comes Out of Our Pockets
Talk about throwing our money away! Picking up litter from public roads, parks, highways and waterways costs money - tens of thousands of dollars a year. And guess who pays for it? South Carolina taxpayers just like you.

Wrappers, Cans, Butts and Old Tires--What's the Attraction?
Tourists from outside of South Carolina spend $6.6 billion in our state every year. But we've never met a tourist who actually liked looking at litter. Let's make sure those who choose to spend their vacation time and money in South Carolina don't make their first visit their last.

It's Not Nice (or Smart) to Mess Up Mother Nature
There's nothing like a nice walk on the beach in the morning (as long as you don't step on that broken bottle) or a romantic evening in the park under the stars (except for all those cigarette butts around the bench). You can take the kids canoeing (and explain that those aluminum cans don't grow there) or maybe spend a day shopping downtown (pay no attention to the litter along the curb). Trash is more than an eyesore, It's hazardous to the health of the environment. Old tires become mosquito breeding grounds. Discarded fishing line can seriously injure fish and birds. Plastic bottles, bags and packaging can pollute our land and water for thousands of years to come.

200 MILLION POUNDS (And that's just how much we picked up!)
In 2007, Great American Cleanup volunteers collected 200 million pounds of litter and debris; planted 4.6 million trees, flowers and bulbs; cleaned 178,000 miles or roads, streets and highways; and diverted more than 70.6 million plastic (PET) bottles and more than 2.2 million scrap tires from the waste stream.

Easy Ways You Can Help
No excuses! Here are 50 Ways to Fight Litter in Your Own Backyard.

  • DON'T LITTER.
  • Pick up one piece of litter every day.
  • Call Litter Busters Hotline to report litter violations: 1-877-7 LITTER.
  • Quit smoking; until you do, dispose of cigarette butts properly.
  • Pick up litter along your exercise route.
  • Recycle. Recycle. Recycle.
  • Keep a trash bag in the family vehicle and use it.
  • Encourage your local school board or the Department of Education to include new litter lessons that match the state standards as part of the regular classroom.
  • Start a student chapter of PalmettoPride.
  • Volunteer to help the local Keep America Beautiful or other group in your county.
  • Encourage your local law enforcement agency to adopt a full-time "zero tolerance" policy for littering violations.
  • Encourage your legislators to help with local cleanup campaigns and to continue to fund PalmettoPride.
  • Ask local fast-food restaurants to post "PLEASE DON'T LITTER" signs near drive-thru windows.
  • Ask local newspapers, TV and radio stations to call attention to businesses that trash your community.
  • Ask schools to display statistics about how long common materials take to decompose. (This is a great project for students.)
  • Organize a fundraiser to raise money for clean-up supplies.
  • Ask your local schools to post litter laws to help understand that littering is a real crime with real consequences.
  • Cover your truck bed with a tarp; give a tarp to a truck owner you know.
  • Ask local grocers to put anti-litter messages on bags and in stores.
  • Encourage your local law enforcement to organize a "Zero Tolerance for Litter" weekend.
  • Encourage local clubs or civic organizations to take part in cleanups.
  • Encourage political candidates to place campaign signs out of the right-of-way and to collect them when the campaign ends.
  • Encourage your homeowners association or other neighborhood group to adopt a local eyesore as a clean-up, fix-up, beautification project.
  • Put a PalmettoPride bumper sticker on your car; give PalmettoPride bumper stickers to all your friends and neighbors.
  • Write letters to the editor or "Op-Ed" stories for your local newspaper.
  • Make a list of run-down or abandoned buildings and lots in your area and organize a beautification project.
  • Introduce the PalmettoPride Promise program to local elementary schools and urge teachers to get involved.
  • Ask your local PTA/PTO to hold a school fundraiser to support quarterly countywide cleanups.
  • Organize a "Walk for Cleanup and Beautification" in your county.
  • Participate in the Great American Cleanup March through May.
  • Organize or help out with clean-ups after big local events like festivals, street parties and sporting events.
  • Ask a local celebrity to appear in an anti-litter public service announcement.
  • Petition your mayor or town council to declare an official Cleanup Day or Weekend in your area.
  • Report excessive trash or other eyesores to your county litter control officer.
  • Speak to your school PTA/PTO about involving students and parents in community clean-up projects.
  • Ask local newspapers, TV and radio stations to call attention to businesses that trash your community.
  • Ask local fast-food restaurants to post “PLEASE DON’T LITTER” signs near drive-thru windows.
  • Help your children develop a project that would contribute to a cleaner South Carolina.
  • Put a PalmettoPride bumper sticker on your car and give them to friends and neighbors for their cars, too.
  • Contact your county council and request that they fund as many litter control officers as possible.
  • Introduce the PalmettoPride Promise Card program to local elementary schools and urge teachers to get involved.
  • Take the PalmettoPride Promise yourself!
  • Ask your local PTA/PTO to hold a school fundraiser to support quarterly countywide cleanups.
  • Make a donation to PalmettoPride or your local anti-litter group.
  • Organize a “Walk for Cleanup and Beautification” in your county or community.
  • Ask a local celebrity to appear in an anti-litter public service announcement.
  • Ask schools to display statistics about how long common materials take to decompose. (This is a great project for students!)
  • Petition your mayor or town council to declare an Official Cleanup Day or Weekend in your area.
  • Report excessive trash or other eyesores to your county litter control department.
  • DON’T LITTER.