BATESBURG-LEESVILLE, S.C. — The Batesburg-Leesville council recently approved a program for high school students to pick up trash around town as a part time job over the summer.
Over the past month, students have picked up upwards of one ton of garbage, totaling over 60 bags.
James Cogdill, a junior at Batesburg-Leesville High School, says it was a great way to make a difference.
“Really the biggest thing that I felt was that personal job of how to actually clean up trash around the streets and stuff,” said Cogdill. “You can see how bad, how big of a toll it has on the environment throughout town.”
Cogdill worked with another student over the summer cleaning up the town. He would work around 8 hours a week. They would take a trash and follow a route each day.
Most of the time they would gather four to five bags of trash. The town says they picked up at least 60 tires over the last month.
Ted Luckadoo, the Town Manger for Batesburg-Leesville, says it was a great idea to have high schoolers doing the part-time job.
“Using the high schoolers, number one, you get an opportunity to teach a couple of young teenagers about the importance of litter and what it means to try and have a clean looking community,” said Luckadoo.
Luckadoo feels that this is something the town will continue in the future.
“Certainly I think with what we’ve seen early in this, we are showing a need for the future. That’s something we’ll have to talk with council about the possibility of expanding this program,” explained Luckadoo.
The junior was getting to work part-time job but it wasn’t about the money.
“You kind of gain a new respect for the kind of jobs that people have to do doing that. Personally I felt pretty good about cleaning up around town. Just because it makes the whole town look better and people see what you’re doing and that they know that you’re helping out.”
Given its initial success, Mayor Lancer Shull now wants to expand this program into a litter campaign.
“What I would like to do is to get a task force together and really join up the churches and community groups and cover the entire town and grid out the entire town so that we can cover all the streets,” said Shull.
Shull believes it’s going to take the entire community to help solve this issue. He says they will continue to dive deeper into the littering issue.
"I think the key is to success and even statewide is to get communities involved, get people with skin in the games so that everyone knows if it's on the ground, it's mine,” said Shull. “We can all take part and also just educate the kids.”