Simpsonville public works cleans up 2,000 pounds of trash from interstate

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SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–Litter on the interstates is something you can see quite often.
One Upstate city took things into its own hands when they noticed the problem was getting out of control.

The City of Simpsonville picked up more than 2,000 pounds of trash from the interstate, and they say it’s not something they normally do.

“We just noticed that the litter was starting to accumulate a little bit more than normal,” Andy West, director of public works in Simpsonville, said.

He says his team was just trying to do their part.

“We felt since the interstate splits our city and we serve the people of the city that we would go out and pick up the trash,” West said.

“It looked awful and we knew something needs to be done about it,” Pete Lupu, supervisor of the Simpsonville street department, said.

He said the project took all hands on deck.

“We had 10 guys 10 employees full time employees and two part timers so it took us nine hours,” Lupu said.

The three miles that were cleaned up are under the jurisdiction of the department of transportation.

“Even though DOT maintains it, it’s just kind of that time where everyone comes together and works toward a common goal,” West said.

But, amid the pandemic, the Department of Corrections halted the program for inmates to help with that pick-up.

“We were able to whether it fairly well, we don’t have any inmates we rely on but I know cities that do rely on inmates they kind of got yanked from them fairly quick,” West said.

Now, the DOT contracts crews to do the pick up, but it often only happens right before mowing is scheduled, or if they are notified of a problem.

“This is something we haven’t seen before, now it’s been a whole lot more,” Lupu said.

But, Simpsonville decided to lend a hand and do the clean-up this time around.

“We just kind of threw everything we had at it for that one day,” West said.

To give you an idea of how much litter ends up on the side of the road, the DOT hosted a statewide clean-up in the fall where 1,700 employees collected more than 209,000 pounds of trash.

“It looks like a lot of trash off 18-wheelers honestly it’s not a lot of residential trash,” West said.

And Simpsonville has a message for those who are causing the problem.

“It’s our city let try to keep it as pristine as we can,” Lupu said.

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