Talking Trash

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When you pack up to leave the beach, do you ever run out of hands to dump off the leftover snacks and empty water bottles? Members of the Tourist Development Council were talking trash Wednesday about the current beach trash service.

Cody Khan, the chairman of the board, isn't satisfied with the current situation.

"For $170,000 a year our beaches are still dirty and I would say people come down here for the beach and this contract, as it exists, is not serving that."

Board member Andy Phillips is the general manager of Edgewater Beach Resort and he agrees more needs to be done.

"I don't think we spend enough to maintain our beach. That is the best marketing tool we have and the best testimony we have is that beach."

The TDC increased trash pickup from four to seven days a week for the next two months, but it's beyond emptying barrels. The litter scattered along the beach is becoming a noticeable eyesore.

Most agree that businesses may soon face fines if they don't keep their part of the beach clean and maybe even share the cost of trash pickup in front of private businesses.

Bill Mathieu, a Panama City Beach council member and member of the TDC, says the effort to clean the beach should be shared by those who use the beach.

"I'd rather do a good job in those public areas than do a poor job and spread it out over the beach."

Philips says the blame goes to each business.

"I think it's a shame that the business can't maintain their own. I truly believe that everyone needs to be responsible and held accountable to do that," he says.

The board wants to refocus the trash pickup to public areas of the beach, therefore requiring beach front property owners to step up their effort in keeping the world's most beautiful beaches beautiful.