'The Earth is not your ash tray,' says Destin volunteer on Earth Day

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Cigarette butts, Styrofoam cups, beer cans, whiskey shot bottles and banana peels were just a few of the items found along Beach Drive in Destin on Thursday morning as some of the staff from Compass Resorts were cleaning up on Earth Day. 

“I can’t believe all the cigarette butts,” said Matthew Sweetser, the account manager at Compass Resorts. 

Miles Chew, the marketing manager at Compass Resorts, was one of six staffers who were out Thursday morning cleaning up along Beach Drive in Destin for Earth Day.

As part of the Adopt-A-Street program in Destin, Compass claimed Beach Drive from U.S. 98 to Legion Drive. 

Sweetser said they wanted to do something for Earth Day. 

“What better way than to get out and clean up on our street,” he said. 

Sweetser and five others were out with gloves on, bags in one hand and a grabber stick in the other. 

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“It’s nice to find a way to get involved in the community and help keep it beautiful,” said Allison Torres, who recently moved to the area from Orlando, where she worked at Disney World for six years. 

Torres said Disney is meticulous about keeping things clean.

“They do a lot of recycling also,” she said. 

Staff members from Compass Resorts were busy Thursday morning cleaning up Beach Drive in Destin as part of Earth Day.

The crew got out about 7:45 a.m. and planned to work until 9 a.m. before reporting to work. 

“It’s lots of fun and it’s a beautiful morning for it,” said Stepanie Hoshor, who helps with beach cleanups as well.

The temperature was in the mid-50s Thursday morning. 

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Probably second to the numerous cigarette butts were beer cans and whiskey shot bottles. 

“I found a protractor. It was broken into a few pieces, but it was protractor,” said Miles Chew, the marketing manager at Compass. 

Many of these little liquor shot bottles were found along Beach Drive in Destin on Thursday during Compass Resorts' cleanup for Earth Day.

A couple of odd things found were a shoe insole and part of a box fan. 

Annie Hays, who found the shoe insole, couldn’t believe the number of cigarette butts. 

“The Earth is not your ash tray,” she said as she picked up another butt. 

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The crew plans to get back out at another time to finish cleaning up their street. 

On Saturday, April 24, there are a few things planned around town to help clean up for Earth Day. 

Allison Torres of Compass Resorts was happy to be out picking up along Beach Drive on Thursday morning. Torres recently moved to the area from Orlando and likes the idea of getting involved with the community.

From 8-10 a.m., the city of Destin will host its annual Earth Day Beach and Park Clean-Up. 

The two parks the city will concentrate on are Joe’s Bayou and Mattie Kelly Park, located diagonally from each other on Beach Drive. 

Check-in will begin at 8 a.m. 

The family-friendly event starts at 8 a.m. Free T-shirts will be provided but are limited. Prizes will be awarded for the most cigarette butts collected. 

Organizers ask that volunteers bring their own buckets or mesh bags for picking up debris.