HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (WTOC) - According to Palmetto Pride, littering in South Carolina can result in jail time and fines of more than $1,000. Even still, it’s an issue in some Lowcountry areas.
Upon first glance, Meyer Lake in Jasper County is a beautiful and serene spot, but upon second glance, you start to notice the trash. Neighbors say that’s a big problem in the area.
Tammy Gray lives within walking distance to Meyer Lake. The Lowcountry beauty is part of the reason she and her family moved here from Indiana. She says people dumping trash has been a big issue, and it’s something she has taken upon herself to try and stop.
“I did have a trash can down here at one point and people were actually using it, but then somebody stole it,” Gray said.
She picks up the litter as she walks with her dog and granddaughter multiple times a day.
“If I don’t, who will? I’m not about to give up my favorite spot because of trash. I’m not an activist by heart, but I kind of have become one through this because I’m just trying to make Jasper County aware. It’s such a beautiful area, guys. It’s absolutely gorgeous down here," Gray said. “Why are you ruining it by throwing away your trash?”
It’s not just the trash. Gray says she has found drug paraphernalia in the area as well. Late-night visitors to the area have residents on guard.
“There’s a lady, Miss Ruby, that comes down here and goes fishing, and she’s told me ‘don’t come down here without a gun.’ I don’t want to have to carry a gun with me," she said.
Gray says she has also found numerous animals people have dumped, including a gruesome discovery on Wednesday - a dead dog on the water’s edge.
“I was crying for an animal I didn’t even know, and then you’re taking these. We found kittens that weren’t even a month old, and we’re taking them to JARM and dropping them off knowing they need to be bottle-fed and again. You’re crying again, or you have tears in your eyes for an animal you don’t even know," she said.
People in the area are hoping state or county officials can patrol the area more often, install some trash cans, and maybe even some trail cams to try and alleviate this problem.