Recycling program targets visitors

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Nearly half of the trash collected in the City of Myrtle Beach can actually be recycled. City officials say the residential program is working and improving every year.

The issue is getting the millions of visitors that hit the beach every year, to recycle. There are no containers on the beaches for people to toss recyclable items, however, when this new pilot program launches, seven blocks along the coast will be saturated with them.

The city will purchase recycling containers for the 24th to 31st Avenue public access areas using grant money. Approximately 30 recycling carts will be purchased for use along the seven-block stretch of beach. The carts will have signage on three sides to promote recycling awareness. All materials will be taken to the transfer station and will be hauled to the Horry County Solid Waste Authority Material Recycling Facility (MRF) located on Three R Drive in Conway, where it will be separated into plastics, metals and glass.

City of Myrtle Beach spokesperson Mark Kruea says even though it's a long ways from a permanent solution, this test is a step in the right direction.

"Recycling is such a good thing to do, but, it has its complications. It's not necessarily an easy thing to do. You've got to have the extra containers, and extra pickup trucks, so there's some complications that come with it and that's why we're doing it as a test program," explained Kruea.

The SC Commerce Recycling Market Development (RMDAC) says the heavy visitor traffic in Myrtle Beach makes it good place to jump start the effort. The goal is that communities will look for ways to implement similar projects themselves. Kruea says this programs falls in line with moving toward a more sustainable city. If it's a success, this pilot program can ultimately set the example for other towns for local businesses.

"Hotels and local business will need to think about how they can get into the recycling stream as well," said Kruea.

The pilot will be over a six-month trial period. City of Myrtle Beach staff will track the weight of materials that are collected during the pilot project and will report on benefits, barriers and recommendations on how to sustain recycling along the coast at the end of the six-month trial.

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.