Keep Florence Beautiful is about to tackle a different form of litter in the community: pet waste. Funded in part by a grant from PalmettoPride, the “Clean Water, Clean Yards, Clean Shoes” campaign seeks to educate citizens about the negative impacts of pet waste. “The ultimate goal of the project is to increase the number of people picking up after their pets,” said KFB Board Chair Michelle Bailey.
Pet waste is unattractive and has a certain “yuck” factor that deters people from using public spaces. Pet waste also contains bacteria, viruses, and parasites that may be transported to local waterways during rain events which could lead to illness in pets or humans that ingest the water. “It’s a bigger problem than people realize,” Bailey said. “In Florence County alone, it is estimated that more than 2.8 tons of pet waste are left on the ground each day.”
In an effort to promote proper disposal of pet waste disposal, 15 pet waste stations are available to homeowners associations, neighborhood associations, and public parks through an application process. Organizations interested in receiving a pet waste station should complete the application/agreement form.
In addition to the pet waste stations, portable pet waste dispensers along with an educational brochure from the Florence Darlington Stormwater Consortium have been provided to the Florence Area Humane Society. “We feel like education is key to getting people to pick up after their pets. The Consortium brochures do a great job of explaining the relationship between pet waste and water quality and the portable bag dispensers make picking up after your pet convenient.”