5,000 pounds of trash lost after Earth Day event – ​​The Laurens County Advertiser

Keep America Beautiful Eastern Region Director Mallory Coffey, center, submits official affiliation documents to Keep Laurens County Beautiful staff and Board of Directors – Photo by Judith Brown

Laurens County, South Carolina – Laurens County is the newest affiliate for the Keep America Beautiful organization, and the ceremony reinforcing its quest to become an official affiliate comes amid a weekend as volunteers from across the county work to make Laurens County cleaner.
“We have at least 50 volunteers, and that’s not counting the volunteers from Clinton City and Laurens City and Laurens CPW who volunteered to clean up during the day on Fridays,” said Courtney Stonell, the newly hired director of Keep. Laurens County Beautiful affiliate.
Over two days, Friday, which is Earth Day, and Saturday, Stonell said a lot of trash was collected by people who care about where they live.
On the outskirts of Clinton, volunteers with Clinton Canopy and several Clinton employees worked along West Corporate Center Drive, finding that even though it wasn’t a well-traveled street, its proximity to food retailers at both ends meant it still had a lot of trash.
“I’m still putting together some numbers but as of now we have about 5,000 pounds of garbage picked up all over Laurens County, and that’s incredible,” Stonell said. “Clinton staff worked in and out of town, and Laurens staff and Public Works Commission staff were everywhere at Laurens.”
On Saturday more volunteers worked in all municipalities and outlying towns and communities, and Stonell hopes to expand his reach next year.
“We were doing something and people were watching,” Stonell said. “This will be an annual event and we hope to get a lot of business involved.”
On Friday afternoon, representatives from Palmetto Pride and Keep America Beautiful were at the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce to publicly welcome Laurens County as part of the Keep America Beautiful Organization.
“Five years ago we started talking about creating the Keep Laurens County Beautiful affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, and that took time,” said Mallory Coffey, Eastern Region Director of Keep American Beautiful. “Now, for anyone who has been here or who grew up here or who owns a business here, this is an exciting and exciting opportunity to bring communities and citizens together in a way they have never gathered before. So today we celebrate your official birthday – the day you celebrate Keep Laurens County Beautiful and officially join the Keep America Beautiful Organization.”
However, starting an organization required funds, and Palmetto Pride representative Joseph Berry provided a check for $10,000 to help the new organization with its founding costs, and gave it the ability to advance the cause of beautifying the county.
“Part of the work we do at Palmetto Pride is support our affiliate network, not only by being here and being a resource, but also providing resources,” said Berry. “Some of the resources we want to provide are grants and one of the grants we give to our affiliates is our affiliate startup grant.”

This story was originally published in the Wednesday, April 27 issue of The Laurens County Advertiser.

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