Beach patrol cracks down on college groups leaving trash along t - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Beach patrol cracks down on college groups leaving trash along the beach

Local woman captures trash left behind by college students in North Myrtle Beach. (Source: Misty Stinnette Elmore) Local woman captures trash left behind by college students in North Myrtle Beach. (Source: Misty Stinnette Elmore)
City crews drop off more trash cans along the beach to encourage large groups to use them. (Source: Lisa Gresci) City crews drop off more trash cans along the beach to encourage large groups to use them. (Source: Lisa Gresci)
Hundreds of college students enjoy a beach day in North Myrtle Beach. (Source: Lisa Gresci) Hundreds of college students enjoy a beach day in North Myrtle Beach. (Source: Lisa Gresci)

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – While on Main Street in North Myrtle Beach, it becomes pretty clear the college crowd is in town. By the time someone steps onto the beach, they can see what they're all up to.

“You may start out in the morning and have 50 college kids on the beach and an hour-and-a-half later, you could have 150,” said Patrick Dowling, city spokesman.

Tuesday was no different, with hundreds of college students on the beach. However, it's the mess some of them are leaving behind that's rubbing locals the wrong way.

Some are even taking to social media to express disgust. It's an issue North Myrtle Beach's beach patrol officers won't tolerate.

“Police are riding up and down, telling people to pick up their trash or else they will issue a citation,” William Lynch said.

“And they have a bunch of trash cans on the beach, so it helps out a lot more,” Chad Fichter added.

Both men are college students in Pennsylvania. As the day goes on, city crews put out more and more trash cans in the hopes these students will turn around and use them.

“First thing we do, bring a trash can in our group,” said fellow Pennsylvania college student James Mulberger.

If they don't, beach patrol officers will round up a group of students for trash duty. If they happen to leave before that point, unfortunately, cleanup falls on officers and lifeguards before the tide comes in.

The city said officers make an effort to greet college students and talk about how they students carry themselves in public, especially on the beaches.

“If they refuse that initial extension of friendship, than we will arrest them,” Dowling said.

So far, the city has made several alcohol-related arrests, but officials point out most of the college groups have changed their tune once they've been talked to about their trash.

“It's not hard to be respectful, so we try to keep that together,” Mulberger said.

Every morning the city's cleanup crew hits the beach. With them, North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol volunteers are doing beach sweeps to make sure this trash doesn't get into the ocean.

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