History/Creation of Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement Department

    The Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement Department was formed in 2000.

    At that time, Animal Control and Litter Control were brought together for the purpose of being good stewards of taxpayers’ dollars while also utilizing all available resources. Then, in 2006, four Property Maintenance Inspectors were moved from the Building Codes Division to our team. In 2018, the Keep OneSpartanburg Beautiful Coordinator position was created, and, in 2020, a County employee Roadside Litter Crew was added.

    Our department strives every day to meet and accomplish the goals and the vision set by our County Council. Our staff has always had an unpublished mission statement of “Where do you need us to go, what do you need us to do?” This department has served as a model throughout the state for other counties to emulate and adjust to their needs.

    Property Maintenance Division

    Our Property Maintenance Division consists of one Senior Officer and five field officers. The current major focus of this division is a joint effort to remove blighted areas—mainly structures and blighted properties, while also focusing on cleaning up our county’s gateways.

    Spartanburg County’s leaders and elected officials understand that, to have growth, there must be reason for growth to happen. Areas with blight generally do not grow. Our leaders have never ignored the fact that we have blight in our county and removing that blight has always been at the forefront of their minds. In fact, removing blight has become a key part of our County’s most recent Strategic Vision Plan. In an effort to support this vision, we recently removed two large abandoned and nuisance commercial properties and are currently working to remove many other unsafe structures.

    Litter Control Division

    Our Litter Control Division consists of one frozen Senior Officer position and five field officers. Early on, our leaders understood the need to have resources addressing the crime of littering. These officers use many different tactics to address issues, such as field surveillance cameras, special details, community awareness programs, etc.

    The newest program is a joint effort with the City of Spartanburg, United Way of the Piedmont, SC Works, Hope Ministries, PalmettoPride and various private groups. It is called our “Litter Heroes” program. This is a 90-day program which currently employs up to four individuals, who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability, to work in a litter crew as employees. These individuals will earn a wage of approximately $12 an hour and will work approximately 25 hours a week with their assigned agency. While going through the program, these individuals also receive case management and life skills training. The program has graduated nine individuals, with three of those individuals becoming officially employed with Spartanburg County.

    Animal Control Division

    Our Animal Control Division consists of one Senior Officer, a newly created Animal Cruelty Investigator position, and six field officers. Of all of our divisions, this division receives the most calls for service, on a daily average.

    Spartanburg County is currently in the process of building a Pet Resource Center. This would be the first of its kind in our County, as Spartanburg County has always contracted out the animal sheltering portion. Currently, we are partnered with Greenville County Animal Care and have been working with them for the past 11 years. The Greenville County staff has been and continues to be very helpful in this process. Greenville County helped us establish our feral cat program, in which we partner with Animal Allies, a low cost spay/neutering facility. This program is nearing 10,000 surgeries on outdoor community felines.

    As part of the planned Pet Resource Center’s team, Spartanburg County recently created our first Animal Cruelty Investigator to tackle the in-depth animal cruelty cases we face. We are also looking to hire a Director of Animal Welfare Services to head our Pet Resource Center. Our next steps will be to secure a site for the Center and begin putting safety net programs into place.

    Keep OneSpartanburg Beautiful Division

    The Keep OneSpartanburg Beautiful (KOSB) Division is new to our team and consists of the Coordinator position. In 2022, we hosted 45 events and collected 14,997 pounds of litter and 14,200 pounds of recycling from Spartanburg County. In 2023, we’re looking to double our hosted events.

    This year, we hope to expand our focus on educational projects and workshops. During the last week of January, we finished our Recycling into Art Mosaic Project with Woodland Heights Elementary School. KOSB and Spartanburg Soil and Water Conservation District will seek design concepts from Spartanburg County artists to enhance selected storm drains along the Butterfly Creek Greenway on the Northside of Spartanburg, SC. Selected artists will turn their concepts into reality in the form of small-scale, semi-permanent, outdoor murals that will adorn Spartanburg County storm drains, raising awareness, and educating the public about the effects of stormwater runoff on water quality.

    Another exciting event that we will need everyone’s participation in is the Team-up to Clean-up Litter Competition. The Keep SC Beautiful affiliates in seven counties in the Upstate have organized the Team-up to Clean-up Litter Competition from April 1st – 22nd.