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Date of Issue: June 08, 2006

Post-Memorial Day trash pre-July 4 headache?

Beach Trash
Joselin Presswood, 9, a soon-to-be-fourth-grader at Anna Maria Elementary School, said the trash stench was "disgusting" at the 77th Street beach access on Wednesday, following Memorial Day weekend. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy

Memorial Day weekend brought "tons of folks" to the Island's beaches, not to mention tons of trash, too. From past experience, when Monday holidays occur, the garbage that accumulates at the beach accesses in Holmes Beach tends to get out of hand, according to Holmes Beach City Commissioner Pat Morton.

He noticed that this happened again, as he observed garbage cans overflowing with trash and more trash had accumulated around the cans on the ground as well as at many of the street ends where public beach accesses provide Waste Management receptacles.

Monday and Thursday are the scheduled pickup days for trash for the Island. Cindy Little, a representative of Waste Management Inc., said that when a major holiday occurs on a Monday and there is no collection, WMI does a special pickup on Saturday.

That schedule leaves a five-day period that trash is not picked up and Morton noted that many visitors put trash out Sundays for a Monday pickup that doesn't happen due to the holiday. That trash stays at the roadside all week.

Morton said the schedule is unacceptable because trash is supposed to be picked up every three days, and this amounts to an extra two days and the problem is worsened by the holiday.

Morton said he would be working with the mayor to see what can be done before the next big "trash" holiday, Fourth of July, when weekend revelers and holiday celebrations in the past have left huge piles of trash at the beach accesses.

Since July 4 is on a Tuesday this year, the trash problem may not be as bad as Memorial Day. This means that it will be picked up on Monday, and again on Thursday, July 6.

This is all speculation, though. In previous years, spent fireworks and other trash could still be seen on the beach for weeks after Independence Day.

Little states that "Since the beach is public property, we do our best to keep it clean for everyone's enjoyment." She also mentioned that anyone can request a special pickup if trash is missed at their residence or by the beaches. Contact Waste Management at 941-753-7591.