Trashed Bush Point still a mess

It was undetermined at Wednesday
It was undetermined at Wednesday's Port meeting whether or not a Dumpster would return in July for the fishing season at Bush point
— image credit: Jennifer Conway

Something stinks at Bush Point and it's not the fish.

Bonnie McKee, caretaker at the Bush Point Wharf Bed and Breakfast and the Bush Point Restaurant, is tired of seeing trash left at the public beach area every week. And she's tired of having to complain about it. After all, trash at the beach has been a problem for over six years.

McKee even attended a Port of South Whidbey meeting on March 12 to inform port commissioners how much of a problem garbage dumping has become in the last few years. The port owns the public beach and boat ramp at Bush Point. At the meeting, McKee said residents in the Bush Point area used the Dumpster provided by the Port as their own private garbage disposal service.

Once the Port learned the Dumpster was being abused, they stopped garbage service March 17 and had the Dumpster removed indefinitely until the summer fishing season.

Since then, according to McKee, garbage dumping at the beach has only continued. In May, out of disgust, she took some of the garbage to be recycled. But she could not keep up with the ever-growing pile of junk.

Currently at Bush Point there is one garbage can, which the Port takes no responsibility for.

"We didn't know it was there," said Lynae Slinden, Port president said in a interview Thursday.

Slinden said because she and other port officials didn't know a can was there, they didn't have any garbage pickup. A box for two trash cans is being built, Slinden said, and will likely be installed by this weekend. But she is certain that those small cans will not solve the problem.

"It's intended for beach trash," said Slinden. "They're treating it like a dump site."

As of this Thursday, the area around the old Bush Point crab shack was a mess. Pop and beer cans, cigarettes, styrofoam pieces, piles of wood, plastic bleach bottles, tires, sinks and old buckets were just a few of the identifiable pieces of trash.

"That's just not acceptable," said Slinden.

Slinden said port Commissioner Gene Sears intended inspect the area Thursday evening to see how much cleanup is needed.

"It was cleaned up at one point," Slinden said. "I don't know what to say."

It was undetermined at Wednesday's Port meeting whether or not a Dumpster would return in July for the fishing season.

Until then, Slinden is urging residents and beach visitors to leave their garbage at home. She said garbage and recycling items can be taken to the Island County Recycle Park in Bayview, Island Recycling in Freeland or to the Island County Transfer Station in Coupeville.

She also scolded those who refuse to do the right thing.

"Some people are not very respectful of the environment," said Slinden. "They know better than that, most people do."

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