Volunteers Cleaned Up in the Rain, Finding Less Trash Than Last Year

Columbia, SC – Results from the 4th annual Francis Marion National Volunteer Cleanup event are in and show a continued reduction in trash in the forest. More than 180 volunteers came out in the rain on Saturday, February 5, 2011, and picked up 7.44 tons of trash.

Over the past four years, event organizers PalmettoPride and the USDA Forest Service have seen the amounts of trash being picked up lessen each year, though volunteer numbers have stayed strong at around the 200 number.

Last year, more than 225 volunteers collected 18 tons of trash, which was almost half of the previous year’s amount.

“We believe that these cleanups are working to keep littering and illegal dumping at bay in the forest,” said Linda Shadel, Director of Operations for PalmettoPride.

Of the 7.44 tons of trash picked up, 1.55 tons were tires. Illegally dumping tires in the forest creates a breeding ground for mosquitoes, leaches toxins into the soil and water, and is totally unnecessary. Tires only have a recycle fee that is paid for when you buy new tires. All one has to do is leave old tires with the business where new tires are purchased or take them to county recycling facilities.

Event hosts included Charleston and Berkeley Counties. Sponsors of the event were Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, Domino’s, Sewee Outpost, Jack’s Cosmic Dogs, and SEWE.

The Francis Marion National Forest Annual Volunteer Cleanup takes place on the first Saturday in February, rain or shine. For more information on this event, please contact Sarah Lyles at 803-758-6034 or