‘Pick up after yourselves:’ Florida beach inundated with 12K pounds of trash over Mother’s Day weekend

Cocoa Beach

Officials with the organization Keep Brevard Beautiful said they collected about five times more garbage at Cocoa Beach after Mother’s Day weekend than before beaches shut down due to coronavirus fears.

Those with the organization asked people to clean up after themselves and take their trash home with them if they can. The group said there has been a huge increase in trash left behind in the sand, and cans are overflowing. Over Mother’s Day weekend, organizers said they picked up about 12,000 pounds of trash.

“We have several dumpsters that were actually overflowing by Sunday to where we couldn’t fit anything else in them,” said Executive Director of Keep Brevard Beautiful Bryan Bobbitt. “A lot of it is people have been cooped up in their house with the quarantine, and now that the restrictions have been lifted and beaches reopen, people are taking advantage of coming out here to enjoy the beaches.”

On a typical day, officials with the group said they collect about 30 bags of trash, but on Saturday, it grew to about 220 bags.

“On Memorial Day weekend, we’ll find that type of number. It’s not typical for us to get this much trash on a regular weekend,” Bobbitt said.

In order to keep up with the amount of trash on the beach, Keep Brevard Beautiful has added more crews and shifts.

The organization’s volunteers have stepped up to help, too.

“On a windy day like today, that stuff is going to end up blowing out into the water,” Bobbitt said. “You’re going to have marine mammals like sea turtles, birds and fish… will get tangled in that and can die.”

Officials asked all the litterbugs out there to stop leaving their garbage in the sand, and if you’re able, take it home with you.

“If you’re coming to the beach, we’d love to have you, but just pick up after yourselves,” Bobbitt said.

If caught littering at Cocoa Beach, you could receive a $250 fine.

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