It’s no more “Mr. Nice Guy” for Laurens Mayor Sharon Brownlee when it comes to dealing with the litter problem in town. “It would be nice if we could keep up the slogan ‘Keep America Beautiful’ that’s been used around the United States for many, many years. But, in my opinion, it’s too nice. It doesn’t work. Keeping America Beautiful doesn’t get the attention of the letterer.”
Mayor Brownlee said Laurens’ streets are being plagued with litter, in our neighborhoods and parks. “Can’t say what South Carolina will do or the County will do, but I am ready to see Laurens take a very active, different approach to solving litter problems once and for all. We are going to start a new campaign simply called ‘Don’t Trash Laurens.’”
The Mayor is asking for citizens of Laurens to submit anti-litter slogans that can be used on signs that will be rotated around town throughout 2014. Mayor Brownlee said the “Don’t Trash Laurens” campaign announced yesterday will post a new kind of anti-litter sign around town. She’s asking for city residents to submit slogans to be posted on the news signs. “…and they will not be so nice….and that’s what I’m asking the citizens to do. Help up come up with blunt, to the point messages with signage that gets the attention of these litterers.”
She gave an example of a sign used in a town out west that said “Litter is done by lazy, disrespectful people.” Brownlee said the town using that sign was able to clean up one bad section of town over a year.
The “Don’t Trash Laurens” campaign is to run throughout 2014. Here in January, the public is invited to submit slogans to be put on signs around town. The best suggestion winds a $100 gift certificate. City Administrator Gary Coleman said up to 12 more people can in $50 gift certificates with more good suggestions.
Slogans for the “Don’t Trash Laurens” campaign should be mailed or delivered to city Hall at 126 East Public Square during January. Winners will be announced in early February.
Increasing enforcement of litter laws is also a part of the “Don’t Trash Laurens” program, including movable cameras posted at strategic places around town to catch people as they litter. Among the department heads on hand for yesterday’s announcement by Police Chief Sonny Ledda He said littering from dropping a cigarette butt to dropping up to 15 pounds can result in a $200 fine plus court costs plus mandatory community service. He said that over 15 pounds of litter can earn a fine of up to $1,087 plus 30-days in jail plus picking up trash on the side of the road. “It’s a very serious problem and I’m glad to see that the Mayor and council and the entire city is behind this effort. We have marked and unmarked vehicles as you know.” Chief Ledda added “Litter enforcement is not new to law enforcement, but we will be stepping up our efforts to help keep our city clean.”