SUMTER, S.C. — Sumter city and county employees are hoping to lead by example by picking up trash around the community during Wednesday's Stash the Trash. Wednesday, dozens of volunteers like Emily Banar picked up almost 200 bags of litter along the road.
"This is a road I actually drive pretty often so I see the trash on a daily basis," Banar explained about why she decided to volunteer. "It’s just a matter of taking care of what you think is important. And trash is trash and nobody wants to live among trash."
Banar joined other employees to collect bags of trash along Airport Road and Lafayette Drive for two hours.
"I hope the public notices what we’re doing and hopefully will share in the effort, "County Administrator Gary Mixon said. "As the county government, we’ve been out promoting cleaning up our community and we want to make sure that we’re setting an example. I mean, it’s hard to ask other people in the community to do something we’re not willing to do yourself."
Not only does it set a good example, but it also brings the community together as one "team Sumter," according to Litter Officer Glenn Button.
"I think it brings unity to the city when you bring people together from different departments that you hadn’t seen before," Button shared.
City and county officials putting on a united front to fight a serious issue.
"Litter causes a lot of problems with us from wildlife to stormwater drainage problems and it’s just ugly looking," Public Works Director Karen Hyatt detailed.
But through efforts like Stash the Trash, Sumter is improving one bag at a time.
"We want to leave Sumter better for the future of our kids and our grandkids too, so I want people to think about that," Button said. "We need to come together and stop throwing trash. It’s an education thing. You know, it’s just making our environment bad."