Volunteers from KBB clean up in 2011. *Photo supplied
Volunteers from KBB clean up in 2011. *Photo supplied

Volunteers from Keep Bermuda Beautiful took part in a major clear-up of Elbow Beach on Boxing Day after the Christmas festivities.

Dozens descended on the popular Christmas Day spot to bag trash and sort recyclables.

The charity, which organized the annual event to help the Parks Department and keep the beach pristine over the holiday, was also involved in putting out extra bins for the festive occasion. 

Anne Hyde, executive director of KBB, told the Bermuda Sun: "The Parks Department staff have Christmas Day and Boxing Day off, so understandably the trash used to sit on the beach until they came back to work after the holiday.

"In an effort to assist the Parks Department and the party-goers, KBB began putting extra bins out on the beach about five years ago.

"To get the trash removed faster, KBB volunteers come on Boxing Day morning and continue to sort out the recyclables like glass bottles and metal cans, continue to bag up the remaining trash, and haul it all up to the parking lot for removal by Parks Department."

The volunteers combed Elbow Beach for trash between 10am and 12pm on Boxing Day.

And after finishing their work they hauled the bags of trash up to the parking lot so they can be easily collected by the Parks Department.

Ms Hyde said: "During the Christmas Day at Elbow event, there are considerable numbers of bottles and cans that are separated and sent to the Recycling Centre in the Government Quarry, officially known as the Materials Recovery Facility.

"Last year, 1900 pounds of recyclables and trash was removed from Elbow after the Christmas Day festivities.

This year, due to rainy weather, there were not as many party-goers out at Elbow on Christmas Day as have been in previous years.  

"That amounts to a lot of glass and metal beverage bottles and picnic trash, so putting out the extra bins really helps.  The party-goers use the bins and when they are full they put their trash next to the full bins.

"Two years ago it was extremely windy on Boxing Day and hundreds of plastic ups blew into the ocean before our cleanup volunteers could catch them. This was a prime example of how trash left on the beach can easily blow into the ocean and pose a threat to marine life.  So it is important to get the beach cleaned up as soon after the event as possible."

She added:  "Our goal is to keep our beaches environmentally healthy, clean and litter-free.  Everybody is encouraged to do the same."