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Gulf Shores Recycling Boom

GULF SHORES, Ala. (WPMI) If you've been to Gulf Shores beaches lately you may have noticed a lot less trash. The city has two trash cans every 100 feet along the public beach. One is for regular garbage and the other for aluminum.

Most beach-goers don't recycle and the majority of the city's coastline is lined with private condos and homes so the city is doing the recycling for you. The trash cans are hard to miss.

"I didn't notice the trash that we did before," said Kacie Simpson who is visiting from Huntsville with her children.

Families are busy having fun on the beach. Trash is literally the last thing on their mind.

What started out as an effort to clear the public beaches of trash after the Fourth of July holiday has no turned into a recycling boom. Turns out 70 percent of what's picked up is recyclable.

"The actual volume of dumpster space we really need for garbage is rapidly shrinking and the amount of space we need for recyclables is rapidly growing," said Mark Acreman, Public Works Director for the City of Gulf Shores.

Blue trash cans are headed to condos east and west of the public beach. The idea here is to partner with beach service companies who in the past had to haul the trash most of it recyclable materials.

"So now they can collect the trash just like they've always done. They can deposit the bag on the beach by the can and we will come by and collect it," said Acreman.

"It's extremely helpful especially when we brought lunches for the kids and ourselves. That's what we were missing was a trash can so she said oh they are right back there so it worked out really well," said Simpson.

It does work out well but the city says it could be better.

"We would also like to see the residents and the visitors do a little better job of putting it in the can and not on the beaches," said Acreman.

The Public Works Department has started a pilot program picking up trash twice a day which goes beyond the public beaches

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