Broward County Beaches: The Former Home to More Than 4,500 Pounds of Garbage

The beach: not where your garbage goes.

People apparently didn't know that this year, as the Broward County Natural Resources Planning and Management Division reports today that volunteers picked up more than 4,500 pounds of people's crap left at county beaches.

Of the 72,000 pieces of garbage picked up last month by volunteers during the 26th Annual International Coastal Cleanup, 35,000 of those pieces were cigarette butts.

Last year, 34,000 cigarette butts were picked up, in a bag that weighed ten pounds.

The cleanup, sponsored by Ocean Conservancy and coordinated by Broward's Natural Resources Planning and Management, also removed some odd crap people decided would be suitable to leave at a beach, including an iron, tools, hair extensions, a mouthpiece, a carburetor cover, boots, and some sort of Oriental coin.

Sadly enough, this wasn't even the most trash volunteers picked up in the history of the event.

Last year, volunteers removed nearly 4,700 pounds of garbage from the beach and 7,383 pounds in 2009.

This year's cleanup in Broward spanned from Deerfield Beach to Hallandale Beach and drew 2,300 volunteers, which is more than average when compared to the turnout in recent years.

According to Ocean Conservancy, in the 25 years preceding this year's pickup, nearly 53 million cigarette butts have been removed from beaches and other bodies of water by the millions of volunteers in countries across the world.

Food wrappers are the next largest culprit, with nearly 15 million being cleared from beaches in the past quarter-century.

Don't throw your crap on the beach.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley