WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A piece of Palm Beach County paradise is in peril as a West Palm Beach neighborhood navigates alarming heaps of trash.
They say their calls to officials have been ignored and some of the waste is hazardous.
Ali Ambrosio spends her days picking up trash on the beach along the Intracoastal Waterway each day.
However, over the last few weeks she noticed heaps of waste have seeped onto the shore in the Northwood Harbor community prompting concerns and confusion among residents.
“It's unlike anything that we've seen,” said Ambrosio. “You know, we've seen some bad trash here, but usually we can link it up with bad weather. It's not what we're seeing now.”
Ambrosio teamed up with nearby neighbors to clean up the overwhelming amount of trash.
“We filled 10 Hefty trash bags with trash,” said Ambrosio. “I've never seen something that is so devastating in my lifetime.”
Neighbors fear the plastic washing up near their homes could be a distress signal from the ocean.
The seas are littered with plastics, especially in the Pacific Ocean where a glob of floating bottles twice the size of Texas continues to grow.
Ambrosio also wonders if a barge near Peanut Island could be kicking up the garbage, but she said the Coast Guard has not returned any phone calls from the community.
She described a trash patch that appeared in the wake of the barge and has been spotting several syringes along the shoreline ever since.
A syringe with a needle was also found.
“When you start to look around, you realize that this beach is literally full of syringes,” Ambrosio said. “There's active injecting going on in the park to the south of here and an empty lot to the north every day. We would love to understand what's going on so that this level of trash can be cleaned up.”
The Coast Guard has not responded to an inquiry from WPTV about the excessive mounds of trash.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the City of West Palm Beach said they’re looking into the matter.