July 16, 2008

Mich. Officials Seek Origin of Beach Trash

Michigan officials Wednesday were trying to determine the origin of hundreds of pounds of garbage that washed up along 45 miles of Lake Michigan beaches.

Labeling on some of the garbage appearing along scenic shorelines between Portage and Ludington, Mich., indicated the trash might be from Wisconsin, The Detroit News reported.

The mess included plastic pill bottles, syringes and other types of medical waste, as well as the kind of wristbands used at beer festivals. U.S. Coast Guard officials said the debris began piling up along the Lake Michigan shore in Manistee and Mason counties Monday, with smaller amounts coming ashore Tuesday morning.

Public health officials tested the lake waters for contamination and found no problems but advised the public not to touch the waste. At Manistee, Mich., the piles became eight inches deep, the newspaper said, and city crews used a beach-combing machine to haul away 12 cubic yards of discarded shoes, hats and other clothing.