MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) It's one of the main areas for festivals at the beach, but events at the Valor Memorial Garden bring more than just people to that area of Market Common, they also brings trash. Local officials are working out who should be responsible to clean what's left on the ground.
There are several events near Valor Garden that draw plenty of people, like the Beach, Boogie and BBQ Festival, Oktoberfest, and outside movie showings. The problem is, once those people leave, there is usually a littered mess marking the spot of the event.
Myrtle Beach City officials tell WMBF News they require anyone who uses the space to clean it up once the event is over, or officials keep a $200 deposit. All the trash, however, isn't always taken care of, forcing other people to do the job.
The debate right now is if that trash task should fall on the city's shoulders or Market Common's since they share parts of the area.
Some people who live and work in Market Common tell WMBF News the trash gets so bad after events that they feel forced to pick up the leftovers. Others say littering is inevitable, since there aren't any trash cans anywhere in sight.
"They've either got to find a place to dispose of their cups, or hang on to them," said Becky Ruland, who owns a frozen yogurt place near the area. "And so, why not put some trash cans out here? It would be very convenient."
Littering in Myrtle Beach is something city officials say they're constantly working on. They say the city spends about $1 million every year picking up the mess in public areas.
The Culture and Leisure Department is responsible for taking care of trash along popular spots like Kings Highway, Ocean Boulevard, and the beach. Since the department has so much on their hands to do, it takes some time to go around and cover all the areas.
But in the public spots where people hold events, like Valor Garden, it can get complicated. This is especially when those putting on the events don't clean up. Leaving places like Market Common asking for more sanitation services.
"We agree with those standards, but our timing [is different]," said Richard Kirby, with the City of Myrtle Beach Culture and Leisure Department. "Sometimes it takes us a little bit longer to get in there to get to things than it may be with them because they have someone who works 24 hours a day there and we do not."
The city and Market Common are working on an agreement for the litter pick up. This is something officials are trying to handle now, before the big events, like the Beach, Boogie and BBQ festival, come and leave more trash behind.