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Editorial: No excuse for not disposing of trash

April 25, 2017 GMT

One of the biggest complaints we receive from readers about the state of affairs in Aiken County is also one of the easiest problems to fix – the blight caused by litter.

Litter is one of the most common, yet undesirable human behaviors. For the ignorant minority, it’s much easier to throw trash out the car window or surreptitiously drop it on the ground instead of taking a quick moment to deposit trash where it belongs, in a garbage can.

Litter is undesirable virtually anywhere, but here in Aiken it’s an ugly mark on our fine community. Many Aiken residents are understandably sensitive to litter since most of us regard our community as an environmental sanctuary.

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Aiken County and the surrounding CSRA abounds with lush greenery, blooming flowers and stately trees. Litter is incongruent with the utopia we call home.

That’s one reason why we salute the work and commitment of the Aiken County Litter Task Force, which as Aiken Standard reporter Christina Cleveland noted, has taken a passionate stance against roadside rubbish.

In support of these efforts, we sat down recently with task force member Darlene Rittel to further discuss ways the group and the Aiken Standard can work together to educate and inform the public about stopping litter. In addition to this editorial, look for future writings within these pages addressing the scourge that is litter.

We surmise one reason for litter is that people don’t know where or how to dispose of their garbage. Rather than admonish offenders with insults, we’d rather educate and empower. Some people may simply not know that there is a better way.

Here in Aiken County, properly disposing of trash is unbelievingly easy. For example, did you know that there are 10 drop-off centers throughout Aiken County? Chances are that at least one exists within a 10-minute drive.

According to Aiken County, the centers are located in Belvedere, Langley, New Ellenton, Graniteville, Reynolds Pond, Windsor, Perry, Couchton, New Holland and Monetta. A full list of drop-off centers, their addresses and a map is attached to the online version of this editorial at aikenstandard.com.

Recycling centers are open daily except for Sundays and certain holidays. And centers even accept e-waste, meaning they accept TVs, DVD players and computers.

Curbside recycling is also offered in four of Aiken’s municipalities – City of Aiken, City North Augusta, Town of Jackson and Town of New Ellenton.

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Above all else, if you’re looking for an incentive not to litter, look no further than your wallet.

Litterers are actually costing themselves money by not using convenience centers and recycling services instead. Convenience centers fall under the Aiken County budget; you’re also paying for recycling services in the four municipalities offering them.

The staff and equipment in these departments are paid for by taxpayer dollars, your taxpayer dollars. It makes no sense to pay for a service and then not use it.

If you’re throwing your trash on the ground, you might as well throw your hard-earned money away as well.