Work crews from the City of Miami and the Florida Department of Transportation teamed up Friday to clean a massive trash pile up along the MacArthur Causeway in Miami, just feet away from Biscayne Bay.
Environmental activists, such as Clean This Beach Up founder Maria Algarra, say they spotted the mound of trash weeks ago, but tell NBC 6 that volunteer crews didn’t have the equipment necessary to clean up such a large amount of trash.
Algarra says activists reached out to FDOT and other local agencies to address the pile-up, which she believes may have been caused by a homeless encampment or illegal dumpsite.
“So, we have actually been looking for spots like this where there are homeless people living or camping, and we’re also looking for illegal dumping sites,” said Algarra. “And this happened to be one of them.”
The city brought out heavy machinery Friday to tackle the mess.
“It was so much trash that it was impossible for our crews to clean it,” said Algarra. “So imagine, they needed machinery to clean this up, it was probably 6-10,000 pounds of debris.”
She says illegal dumpsites, such as the one found along the causeway, are not only an eyesore but a danger to marine life in Biscayne Bay.
“Littering is actually a huge issue that we have to deal with,” said Algarra. “There’s a lot of beautiful species that are endangered here that get entangled in and eat these plastics.”
An FDOT spokesperson said Friday that crews had completed their work for the day, but told NBC 6 that crews may need to return to the causeway next week to complete the job.