Inflatable rafts, trashed awnings, red cups and towels made up mounds of garbage left on a Virginia shore following a Memorial Day weekend event.
The total amount of trash removed? Ten tons, the city of Virginia Beach told local news stations. That’s 20,000 pounds.
Floatopia, a massive start-of-summer party at Chic’s Beach, drew hundreds of people Sunday for a day of drinking and lounging in the Chesapeake Bay, WCNC-TV reported, but photos of the messy aftermath spread quickly online.
A crew of only nine people arrived Monday morning to clean up the mess, Virginia Beach Public Works spokesman Drew Lankford said, removing the 10 tons of garbage by about 9:15 a.m.
“It was food wrappers, cans, bottles, pieces of floats, towels, everything,” Lankford told WCNC-TV. “It was almost like they saw a tornado coming and everybody just got up and ran for safety and left everything there.”
For comparison, Florida volunteers picked up a reported 9 tons of trash on Pensacola-area beaches throughout 2018 — less than Virginia Beach partyers produced just last weekend.
And a typical weekend at Chic’s Beach results in just 1 ton of trash, WAVY-TV reported.
A Facebook video from user Melissa Noel shows two plastic trash barrels stuffed and surrounded by a small mountain of brimming trash bags. Abandoned rafts, boxes and cans add to the scene.
“Stay classy, Virginia Beach,” a voice off-camera says.
Lankford told WCNC-TV that Floatopia is organized largely on social media, making communication with the event’s organizers difficult.
City Councilman Michael Berlucchi posted an image of the same scene from the video and lamented the “trash all over our beautiful Chesapeake Bay.”
“We can do better than this!” the councilman said.
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