Talking Trash

“On average, we remove over 100 tons of trash and debris from the beach on a monthly basis,” says Smith. “We are a seven-day-a-week, 365-days-a-year operation. Every night we’re sweeping the beach and cleaning the restrooms.”

Myrtle Beach also uses a one-operator truck to remove the trash from 350 barrels stationed along its 10 miles of beach. “The machine takes in the summer about five hours to go from one end of the beach to the other,” says Kirby. “If [the trash removal] was done by personnel, it would take the same amount of time, but you would need three to four people.”

Moving Forward

In other areas, agencies are looking at the larger picture. “Last year in our heavy-use areas, we started using solar-powered trash- and recycling compactors,” says Kowlok. “They help us save a little on the trips to empty them, and for some reason the recycling is almost 100 percent.”

In California, beach managers have formed a working group, the Beach Ecology Coalition Maintenance Practices, to develop good environmental stewardship procedures.

Impossible Dream Or Just Common Sense?

With the recent changes in attitudes towards the environment and personal responsibilities, keeping your beach cleaner and more environmentally sound might be as simple as forming a working group of environmentalists, researchers, regulatory agencies and volunteers to educate the public.

The National Parks Service has a goal of removing all trash cans from facilities and educating people about the effects that trash is having on the environment. The policy is commonly referred to as Carry In, Carry Out. Several national parks have already removed trash cans in an effort to increase recycling and personal responsibility. Plus, it eliminates the problems trash creates with the expense of removal, cleaning, litter and animals.

Maybe one day trash receptacles can be eliminated because they won’t be needed anymore.

Tammy York is the owner of LandShark Communications LLC, which specializes in media and public relations for recreation businesses. Her upcoming book, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Cincinnati, is due out March 2009, and can be pre-ordered through You can reach her at

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  1. Removing Beach Trash And Debris
  2. Belmar Beach
  3. Pint-Sized Paradise
  4. Beach-Building Basics
  5. Use The Rinse Cycle

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