For too many years, Panama City Beach has been plagued with piles of garbage illegally dumped by visitors and people. Part of the problems stems from the lack of mandatory trash pick-up laws within the city limits. But that could be changing.
Panama City Beach is a resort destination, and it takes a clean city to keep people coming back. But commissioners say visitors are part of the problem. They dump their trash in inappropriate places, creating eye sores, and health hazards.
The city started the process of enforcing mandatory garbage service seven years ago. But the 2005 hurricane season knocked it off track. Friday, county officials are closing off the beach garbage and trash transfer station. That could force more people to illegally dump trash.
Beach commissioners say that's a wake up call. Bay County may work with the city, to offer this service for the entire island. Anyone who currently uses city water and doesn't have garbage pick up will soon be forced to get it. If you already have trash pickup service, you'll just have a difference in billing.
"The independent contractors continue to pick the garbage up, but your garbage bill comes through with your water and sewer bill and everybody gets one and everybody has to pay for what they get or their water and sewer is cut off."
Mayor Sullivan says he hopes the city will be enforcing a mandatory garbage pick up by 2007.