HOPKINS, S.C. — Along Old Leesburg Road in Hopkins lies fans, mattresses, and trash-- a problem residents like Carmen Myers are fed up with.
"It bothers me because it makes the value of our property go down.
Myers can trace the problem back to as long as she's lived in the area-- about 5 years and it's only gotten worse.
“Ever since the pandemic it seems like it's happening more and more,” said Myers.
Richland County Councilmember Chikasse Newton represents the Lower Richland County area. She said she receives many calls from frustrated residents.
“It is safe to say that I spend hours every week talking to constituents about trash talking about garbage,” said Newton.
Newton said this problem is preventable. She said contacting the Richland county ombudsman's office is the best way to clear trash from your community. You can call them at (803) 929-6000 or email them at email@example.com.
"At the end of the day, we really care about getting this issue fixed for constituents," said Newton. “We really rely on our great citizens who see something and say something."
Newton said the county also offers bulk item pick-up for items like refrigerators, mattresses, furniture, and more. The service is available to entire neighborhoods in a program known as "clean sweep". However, a community leader or homeowners association must request it. Bulk pick-up takes about a week to get there.
"There are resources, we just need more people to call and ask," said Newton.
Myers said her and her neighbors want to see the county take more action to hold those who are dumping accountable.
"I wish we had more cameras in the area that can catch people," said Myers. She said tougher punishments on dumping would also help deter people.
Dumping in South Carolina is punishable by up to $1,000 fine or up to a year in prison.
Household electronics such as televisions or printers, must be physically dropped off at one of Richland County's staffed drop off locations.