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Litter pick-up site gaining trash traction

A litter pick-up site designed by a local Walterboro resident is gaining traction, with more city residents signing up to spot trash and then collect it.
The site, www.litterrater.com, was created by Walterboro native Ladson Fishburne, a 27-year-old city resident who says he wants his city to be cleaner.
“It’s our community and we need to take more ownership of it,” he said.
Here’s how the program works: each time a person spots litter in Colleton County, they go to the app downloaded on their phone and report that problem. Fishburne is then alerted that litter has been reported. He then uses the same site to update litter-collection areas. If a person cleans up that litter, they again go to the site and report that it was done. Then, by using their own login information on the site, they are reimbursed for their efforts. Fishburne is buying gift cards to reimburse people who clean. However, he is asking area businesses and entities to donate VISA cash gift cards or products from their businesses to be used as rewards.
“The site uses a map so the location shows up immediately. People can either check the map and go clean the litter or report other problem areas,” he said. “It is a point-based system. I’m trying to give people incentives to clean up their community.”
Fishburne says he personally gets notified each time a person either reports litter or cleans it up. Each person’s login is then tracked as they earn points. “I get notified if a person uploads a picture of litter, or reports it on the map. And I get notified if a person has cleaned it up,” he explains.
Fishburne revealed this app to the public via The Colletonian in early June. To date, he has about 35 Colleton County residents registered on the app. These people are either reporting litter problems or are cleaning them up.
Ladson hopes to keep this number growing. Meanwhile, he steadily working to improve the app to give more options to its users. “The next development will allow groups to sign-up to clean under one name,” he said, adding that he hopes this will encourage churches, non-profit groups and groups of friends to get involved in the local litter-cleanup process. “All points that users earn will go toward the group and the group can work with LitterRater to set up a much larger incentive prize,” he said. “This will be great for schools, churches, scout groups, clubs, etc.”
Fishburne is also still looking for more support from local businesses. He is buying most of the cash gift cards that are used for rewards.
“People in the community should be invested and involved,” he said.
Colleton County’s litter problem has long been a topic of conversation at local municipality and county government meetings. However, the discussion has started to take more form in recent months: Fishburne’s father, Barnwell Fishburne, is working with Walterboro city officials to create a litter program. Colleton County Council also just approved a countywide program to pick-up litter from the county’s streets, particular roads near Walterboro.
For more information on Fishburne’s litter app and his program, or to offer gift cards or other incentives or to get involved, email Fishburne at fishburnee2@mailbox.winthrop.edu.

Heather Walters (1494 Posts)