VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — City crews in Virginia Beach were faced with a major cleanup Monday morning.
10 tons of trash was left behind following a Memorial Day weekend event.
“It’s a big party. It gets bigger every year,” said Chris Kane, a Chic’s Beach resident.
Kane is talking about Floatopia. The annual event is a beach bash that celebrates the unofficial start to summer. Kane said it’s taken place at Chic’s the last few years.
“Wall to wall people, wall-to-wall fun, lots of music, lots of dancing,” Kane said.
However, this year there was also a lot of trash. Another resident took video of the beach after the crowd left. The sand is littered with items.
“All kinds of garbage, trash, bottles, towels, pieces of clothing, mats, cans,” said Drew Lankford, with the City of Virginia Beach Public Works Department.
Video of the trash quickly went viral on social media causing a lot of anger among the community.
“You know, it’s not a whole lot of effort to clean up after yourself,” Lankford said.
The city released a statement Tuesday morning saying it was “disappointed” to see the condition of the beach following Floatopia.
However, thanks to the swift and thorough work of our Beach Operations crew, the beach is once again clean, and more than 10 tons of trash and debris has been cleared away. Our sincere thanks goes out to those citizens who helped pitch in to clean up as well.
We’ve had several individuals ask about regular volunteer opportunities to help with beach clean-up, and anyone interested in getting involved is encouraged to contact Michael Moore at MTMoore@VBgov.com or 757-385-2080.
10 On Your Side asked if the trash compared to what’s been left behind in years past.
“Not that bad. We’ve had some problems and it’s been heavier than usual but this was probably the worst,” Lankford said.
Crews with the city’s public works department were up before the sun to clean the mess left behind. We’re told others came to help too.
“First thing this morning there’s volunteers — one of the head guys who puts on the party was out here at 5:30 this morning gathering garbage,” Kane said.
Crews collected 10 tons of trash. We’re told a typical weekend at Chic’s Beach usually sees about one ton of trash.
“They tackled a huge job nobody thought we’d get done in four, five hours and they knocked it out in about two and half,” Lankford said.
Although it’s taken care of now, the city hopes beach goers will take note for the future.
“First impressions do a lot for tourism,” Lankford said. “We get letters a lot from people saying they’re just amazed at how the place looks when they get here, and we also know that people, if they see something they don’t like, there’s a good chance they’re not coming back.”
City officials are reminding beach goers to leave the beach how you found it — if you see trash that isn’t yours, pick it up anyways so the next person can enjoy the area.