Trash at Gandy Beach leads to strict enforcement

Bonfires and beer are just two of the things that draw people to Gandy Beach.

Now the state says those are big no-nos.

Officials are trying to crack down on certain activities that occur in an area some call “Beer Can Beach.”

"This beach is packed, people grilling out, which is the great thing about this beach," said Michele Massaro, a frequent visitor.

Massaro and John Winters bring their dog here during the week. They don't support a full crackdown but admit finding trash at their favorite spot is frustrating and at times painful.

"People bring bottles,” said Massaro. “Two weeks ago I cut my foot on a piece of glass."

Florida Department of Transportation officials say it's not just a few pieces of litter here and there that’s a problem. It's the almost one ton of garbage hauled off the sand every week.

New signs now line the sand, outlining the already existing rules, with hopes of taking the beer out of beer can beach.

People who live out here say one trash can every few hundred feet just isn’t enough for the crowds that come out every weekend.

"I think they need bigger trash cans with lids on them because when they overflow and you get a windy day like this, you got trash all over the beach," said local Frank LaRocca.

FDOT also pulled dozens of tires from the water as well as two sunken boats.

A new dusk-til-dawn curfew also looks to curb late night mischief.

As for Michele and John, they just don't want to lose the freedoms they've come to enjoy.
"One bad apple will ruin a whole bag of apples, and that’s what’s happening here," said Massaro.
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