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Roadside trash on radar with ‘Team Up to Clean Up’

inmate trash collection

Pickens Sheriff’s office inmate work detail crews, led by Deputy Joey Hancock, pick up trash along Yellow Creek Road in Marble Hill. 


How many bags of garbage would you guess inmate work detail collected on a half-mile stretch of Philadelphia Road? 10? 15? 

Try 57 full-size bags.

        Granted this road between Highway 515 and Talking Rock Highway is considered one of the worst in the county, but litter is so bad that commissioners say it’s a top complaint they receive. Now the county is partnering with the Pickens Sheriff’s office, Keep Pickens Beautiful, and the community at large in a “Team Up to Clean Up” initiative to address roadside trash and encourage recycling.

As part of the effort, the Pickens Sheriff’s office work detail program is back as temps warm up. In addition to Philadelphia Road that crew picked up 89 bags on three miles of Camp Road and were working Thursday, March 4 to pick up trash off Yellow Creek Road.

“That’s a huge issue,” Pickens Sheriff Donnie Craig said at commissioners’ March work session. He thanked individuals who make an effort to collect garbage on the roadsides themselves, but said residents who would like to request areas that need attention call 706-253-8902 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“We’ll try to get those roads on the list,” he said. 

In a social media post the sheriff’s office said they will get those work detail crews out as time and weather permit, but that “work detail also helps our office with many other details such as the fire wood program, cleaning and upkeep of the jail, sheriff’s annex, and our firing range.”

In addition to work detail, Pickens Commission Chair Kris Stancil wants to work with the community to address the litter problem. 

“We’re trying to put out a day to encourage people to get out a pick up trash,” he said at the work session. Saturday, April 10 is the tentative community-wide trash pick up day to coincide with the national Keep America Beautiful campaign that happens the entire month of April. 

Stancil is also in discussions with the probation office to get community service workers to help “so that we’re not 100 percent relying on one work inmate detail. It’s community wide. It’s probably the most complained about thing is trash on the side of the road.” 

Commissioners are working with the recycling center director as well so people who collect roadside trash will be able to take it to the center for free.

Keep Pickens Beautiful holds several initiatives in April. More details about the partnerships, the Team Up to Clean Up initiative, and Keep America Beautiful events will be announced in coming weeks.