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      Midlands officials encourage residents to 'Trash the Poop'

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - Midlands officials were raising awareness on scooping up the poop to keep area parks clean on Tuesday.

      The City of Columbia, Lexington County, and the Keep the Midlands Beautiful organization recognized winners of the "Trash the Poop" design contest at Riverfront Park.

      It is an effort to raise awareness on the dangers of not picking up dog feces at local parks and trails. Monetary prizes were given out to the top three finalists.

      Leaders will collaborate all three designs into one poster. Those will be displayed at parks and offices.

      Lexington County Environmental Coordinator Synithia Williams said owners who do not clean up after their pets put the general public at risk.

      "A lot of folks do not realize that if they leave it on the side of the road or leave it in the gutter, when it rains and washes down the storm drain, it just goes into our local creeks, rivers and streams. By picking up after your pet, it is a small thing that homeowners and pet owners can do to try and keep our waterways clean."

      Officials also created a public service announcement; which is set to hit the airwaves this summer.