Kudos to the Charleston Rotary Club, the city of Charleston and others for teaming up to sponsor and support “Trash for Cash” this past Saturday.
The community cleanup event was held on a beautiful spring day, which may have played a role in the smaller than anticipated turnout of volunteers working to help rid the city of some litter. Still, a total of 771 pounds of trash was collected.
The concept was sound and involved a competition of sorts in which $600 cash was up for grabs.
Participants registered by city ward and were given a specific color trash bag for the ward they represented, each bag also individually marked with a number linked to each person’s name.
All of the bags were weighed — ask Rotarian Ken Gregory about that experience — and at the noontime conclusion of the three-hour event, the person in each ward who collected the most trash by weight received $100. (Unfortunately, no one showed to represent Ward 4.) In addition, another $100 was awarded based on random draw of all participants. Ward 1, where Commissioner Gyrone Kenniel was the lone participant, collected the most trash by weight and was honored with a banner to be displayed in the ward.
A free hot dog lunch was served. The Charleston Arts and Revitalization Effort (CARE), Bumpers, Sayle Oil Co., Signs Unlimited and SuperValu contributed goods and/or manpower, according to Patti Gregory, one of the Rotary organizers.
Gregory lauded the support of Mayor Sedrick Smith, noting, “Everybody should work with him, and we need to get more people involved.” As for the cleanup, Gregory said, “Those that were here did fabulous. Those that weren’t here missed out on a great day of being together, a beautiful day, and a chance to really see they can make a difference.”
The mayor said he was impressed with the people who came together — “people that want to see our community move forward and want to see the community clean. I’m really excited about that.”
While admitting that the turnout “could have been a little big larger,” Smith said, “we took what we had and worked with that. So we are very blessed and very pleased.”
Hopefully, the next time such an event is held, more people will participate in the cleanup effort.
Meanwhile, each of us can help by tidying up our own little corner — whether residence or business — and keeping our property neat and clean.
Even more, let us not be guilty of tossing litter on the ground. That is where a cleaner city begins.