ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – If they haven’t already, Atlantic Beach visitors will start noticing some new additions to beach access points. Baskets like the ones you see in grocery stores have been placed at three different access points to make it easier for beach-goers to pick up trash.
The pilot program just launched, and city leaders are hoping the green-colored additions will inspire better cleanup.
With beautiful ocean views, it's easy to understand why people take the time to go for a walk on Atlantic Beach. Mike Boone does it every day.
"You can't beat the ocean," Boone said. "And this nice sand that we have to walk on. It's usually pretty excellent."
Boone said while most people are good about cleaning up, there’s always room for improvement.
“Occasionally, you will see something... pick it up, throw it in the wastebasket,” Boone said.
The basket program is made possible through a partnership between the city manager and the Environmental Stewardship Committee.
City leaders told News4Jax that plastic is one of the main reasons for giving this program a try. Despite years of education and spreading awareness, they say pieces of plastic and straws still make their way onto Atlantic Beach.
The baskets can be found at the beach access points on Ahern, 10th and 18th streets. City leaders said with these green additions, making sure trash ends up where it belongs is easier than before.
Boone said this will help, but for it to work in the long run, keeping the beach clean needs to be a team effort.
"Absolutely. It doesn't do any good for half of us," Boone said. "It needs to be everybody. And there is an effort here."
City leaders said they will go back and visit this issue in the spring to determine if these are, in fact, being used. From there, they’ll decide if they wish to add more.
They’re also looking to get some feedback from the city. The city said anyone with questions or concerns is welcome to call Public Works at 904-247-5894.