Leaders in Litter Prevention Recognized at Annual Litter Summit

Columbia, SC (September 20, 2023) — PalmettoPride, in partnership with the South Carolina Litter Control Association, hosted the 2023 Litter Summit in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in early September. Keep America Beautiful Affiliates representatives, litter prevention professionals and law enforcement officers gathered for an annual meeting, during which program updates and professional development trainings were offered to attendees. In addition, Keep SC Beautiful and the SC Litter Control Association hold an awards luncheon during the conference.

This year, the SC Litter Control Association (SCLCA) presented its David Thomas Award, named after PalmettoPride’s founder and a former SC Senator, to Officer John Grooms with Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement. “Litter enforcement is not an easy job. There are many obstacles that officers face when investigating sites.  Officer Grooms went through those obstacles with enthusiasm, successfully catching an illegal tire dumper who was plaguing the upstate,” said SCLCA president Donna Thomas. “Officer Grooms has shown that team work and dedication are what it takes to be a great litter officer.”

Keep South Carolina Beautiful (KSCB), a division of PalmettoPride and the state affiliate for Keep America Beautiful, Inc. (KAB), also presented awards. This year, PalmettoPride recognized two Greenwood County residents as Volunteers of the Year, Walt and Claire Willard. While Walt Willard resides in Laurens County, he serves on the board of Keep Greenwood County Beautiful. His service to his community is not limited by his county line. He is known as a Litter Warrior, picking up trash for Adopt-A-Highway and closely surveying areas in the Litter Index. 

Keep Florence Beautiful received the Program of the Year Award for the annual KFB Lynches River Adventure event, which features a 5k trail run and a 5-mile paddle down the scenic and historic Lynches River. Proceeds from the event support the work of KFB, Lynches River County Park, and ongoing efforts to keep the river free from debris. 

Courtney Stonell with Keep Laurens County Beautiful received the Partnership Award. Stonell is quick to participate in any invitation that comes her way but, beyond that, she connects her neighboring affiliates and other organizations together to make a bigger impact. She was integral in creating the 2023 Upstate Team Up to Clean Up Challenge  for Earth Day, the success of which earned KSCB affiliates national recognition. 

PalmettoPride recognized Duke Energy as Business Partner of the Year for their contributions towards the #PickItPostIt campaign this summer. Duke Energy Corporation, South Carolina 7, and PalmettoPride collaborated to promote the #PickItPostIt campaign. Duke Energy pledged to donate $10 for every social media post with the hashtag #PickItPostIt towards litter pickups and the installation of environmental sculptures along the SC7 expedition. “The Duke Energy Foundation’s support helped promote PalmettoPride’s mission of achieving a litter-free SC and shined a spotlight on the SC7 Expedition,” said executive director, Sarah Lyles. “The collaborative campaign illustrated to South Carolinians how special our state is and how its natural environments should be treasured.”

The Leaders Against Litter awards honor elected officials who seek to change the environmental landscape in their communities by working with their administrations, employees and citizens on litter prevention. These Leaders Against Litter lead the charge to make important changes in how their counties address litter, specifically following what PalmettoPride believes are the basic tenets for change: education, enforcement, awareness and pickup. This year, Horry County Councilmen Tyler Servant (District 5) and Cam Crawford (District 6) were recognized as Leaders Against Litter for their efforts to keep Horry County beautiful.

Affiliates recognized with the President’s Circle Award have met standards of merit of Keep America Beautiful by conducting an annual Community Appearance Index; calculating the affiliate’s cost/benefit ratio; and administering initiatives to end littering, improve recycling, and beautify the community. 

KSCB presented 28 affiliates with President’s Circle Awards for being in good-standing with KAB:

  • Keep Aiken County Beautiful
  • Keep Anderson County Beautiful
  • Keep Beaufort County Beautiful
  • Keep Charleston Beautiful
  • Keep Colleton County Beautiful
  • Keep Dorchester County Beautiful
  • Keep Edisto Beautiful
  • Keep Florence Beautiful
  • Keep Georgetown Beautiful
  • Keep Greenville County Beautiful
  • Keep Greenwood County Beautiful
  • Keep Hampton County Beautiful
  • Keep Jasper County Beautiful
  • Keep Lancaster County Beautiful
  • Keep Newberry County Beautiful
  • Keep North Charleston Beautiful
  • Keep North Myrtle Beach Beautiful
  • Keep Oconee Beautiful Association
  • Keep OneSpartanburg Beautiful
  • Keep Orangeburg County Beautiful
  • Keep Pickens County Beautiful
  • Rock Hill Clean and Green
  • Keep Sumter Beautiful
  • Keep the Midlands Beautiful
  • Keep Wadmalaw Beautiful
  • Keep Walterboro Beautiful
  • Keep Williamsburg Beautiful
  • Keep York County Beautiful

Currently, there are 38 affiliates in the KSCB network. For more information, contact info@palmettopride.org.

#  #  #

PalmettoPride is working towards a litter-free South Carolina. Created as a legislative initiative to fight litter and help beautify South Carolina by engaging citizens to take action in their communities through education, enforcement, awareness, and pickup.

Back to News