Record shopping season leaves boxes of waste in aftermath


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Strong holiday sales equated to record numbers in 2017. It’s just another day for the city’s sanitation engineers in Myrtle Beach.

As the call for record numbers came in, shoppers went out as the record retail sales continue to rise. Sales were 16 percent higher than last year.

As shoppers returned to a different locations, bags and boxes were dropped off. It was perhaps the busiest day of the year for sanitation engineers.

“After Christmas, the recycling especially is real heavy,” said Kevin Rathbun, a 10-year veteran from Public Works. “It’s all the Christmas gifts they put out for recycling, so that’s a tough job.”

Sanitation Engineer Norman Myers agrees.

“Today is like a Monday, because we’re doing Monday’s route on a Tuesday, so it’s going to be maybe about 7 o’clock or 6 o’clock this afternoon until we get done,” Myers said.

On International Drive, dozens were dropping off bags with even more cardboard boxes or dropping their trash off at the curb.

“It’s a very dirty job, but someone has to do it,” said engineer Calvin Wilson.

As we rode along, we saw Wilson pick up a portion he estimates will be a total of 11 to 12 tons of waste for the day.

“Recycling is a little bit heavier than normal,” Wilson said. “Some of the residents that actually did stay home were able to have their children’s boxes, and toy boxes and cooking boxes. Stuff like that all goes in recycling, but the garbage wasn’t that bad.”

While Wilson’s biggest asset is the city, it’s also his toughest challenge.

“There’s a lot of cans in a lot of neighborhoods that are being built, and we’re trying to accommodate and keep up with the growth as fast as we can,” Wilson added.

There was no solid waste or recycling pickup on Christmas. Customers in Myrtle Beach’s zone two will be serviced Wednesday. Customers in zones three and four will be serviced on Thursday.

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