You have heard from me before about my distaste for litter and the sorry state of the U.S. 278 Bluffton corridor. I would like to again address our litter, recycling and overall waste management problem. Let's start with the Simmonsville Road dump and recycling center. This could be a very effective waste management center if it were properly managed and rules enforced. Unfortunately, the employees are exhausted from dealing with people who break the rules. I have heard the following reports:
A lot of waste comes from people who are not Beaufort County residents, so we the taxpayers are subsidizing garbage from other counties and paying for removal and valuable landfill space. Also, too many landscapers, contractors and large retailers, who shouldn't be using this facility, bring waste to the center. Many of the recycling bins are contaminated by material unsuitable for recycling, so that a lot goes into the landfill, and the benefits of recycling are not being captured.
The first step should be closer monitoring at the dump site though a combination of police, volunteers, public announcements and differently trained employees. An advertising campaign emphasizing monetary fines would be helpful. A Walmart-type "greeter" could easily turn away those who are not supposed to be there or bringing the wrong type of garbage and recyclables. Any successful global recycling or clean community efforts are built on the concept of enforcement, not on cultural change.