Improving your community
Since PalmettoPride was created, nearly 90 million pounds of litter has been removed from South Carolina’s roadways and communities. That would never have been possible without such a solid network of volunteers. Whether a volunteer joins a cleanup event with 500 people or they pick up trash around their neighborhood alone, they have moved us further toward a litter-free SC.
One of PalmettoPride’s primary goals is to make it as easy as possible for South Carolinians to volunteer their time for litter cleanups. Whether you have participated in cleanups every weekend for a decade or this is your first time, it is still important to go over the basics before getting out there. Follow this guide to make the next cleanup as safe, successful, seamless as possible.
Plan a Cleanup Toolkit
Safety Guidelines Video
Cleanup Report Card
Cleanup Cheat Sheet and Checklist
With over 38 KSCB affiliates and many more partner organizations across South Carolina, litter cleanups are constantly happening year round. If you’re just wanting to test the waters, we highly recommend checking our Events page and joining another organization’s cleanup to get into the swing of things. These events are often led by cleanup-veterans who are well-versed in safety protocol, which is always the most important consideration. You can also schedule a Safety Training with PalmettoPride Enforcement Program Manager Samuel H. Ford.
If there aren’t any upcoming events in your area but you still want to get out there, decide on an exact location in your community. Your nearest KSCB affiliate can help identify hot spots in your community, as well. When deciding where to cleanup. utilize the Litter Index Chart and prioritize higher rated areas.
Next, see if you have any friends, family, or neighbors who would be willing to join you. Consider posting fliers in your community to advertise the event further. PalmettoPride can help publicize your event on social media and can even create marketing materials for you! Once you have a better idea of how many people will be joining the event, you will know the amount of supplies you will need.
When you have a group and location, schedule a time, date, and meeting place for your event. We have found Saturday mornings are the most convenient for volunteers.
Cleanup supplies can include bags, gloves, vests and grabbers. To secure these, we recommend checking in with your local KSCB affiliate. PalmettoPride provides affiliates with supplies and grant funding throughout the year to support volunteers just like you. If there is not a KSCB affiliate near you that is well-stocked on supplies, you can request supplies from PalmettoPride at no cost to you. **While we welcome you to request supplies, we may not always be able to fill the full extent of your request before your event based on our inventory.
We ask that you request supplies as far in advance as possible, because there may be longer waiting periods and inventory shortages during our busy times of the year. When you request supplies from us, we can typically ship supplies for events with fewer than 25 volunteers outside of the Midlands area. If your event has more than 25 volunteers, you or someone helping with the event will need to pick the supplies up from our office in Columbia located at 2700 Middleburg Drive Suite 216 Columbia, SC 29204.
When your supplies are ready for pickup, a staff member will contact you and will schedule a time for you to get them. If it is more convenient, you can always purchase your own supplies. PalmettoPride can make suggestions on where and what to buy to make sure you are prepared. If you have questions about requesting supplies, contact email@example.com or call 803.758.6034.
Well before your cleanup, you can reach out to local law enforcement — they may be able to provide a patrol car or signage if your cleanup is in a heavily-trafficked area. This is would simply be another safety precaution to alert oncoming drivers of roadside volunteers.
It is also important to plan ahead for what to do with trash you collect. This depends mostly on how much trash you expect to collect. You may decide to dispose of the trash in your own waste receptacles. If you anticipate picking up several bags and miscellaneous trash, like tires or mattresses, you will need to contact your county’s Ombudsman’s office or local county contact to inquire about trash pickup.
County administration may provide locations of county-owned dumpsters to which you can haul the trash or they may instruct you to leave the collected trash on the roadside to be picked up by county maintenance workers. It is a widely variable process across the state and even throughout the year, so you may opt to haul your trash to a local landfill. It is best to call in advance to your local landfill to learn what kind of trash they accept and if it costs money to dump your trash there. Again, your local KSCB affiliate may be able to advise with the best way to dispose of your trash.
On the day of the cleanup, be sure to go through the safety guidelines with your group. For further measure, it is advisable to have volunteers fill out a waiver ensuring they will follow the protocol.
After the cleanup
Make sure to fill out our Cleanup Report Card so we can keep track of your group’s progress! Post about your event on social media and tag PalmettoPride and your local KSCB affiliate. We would love to recognize your group’s effort to keeping our state beautiful.