Volunteers turn trash into treasure during Gasparilla cleanup

When the party ends, the cleanup begins. 

Hundreds of volunteers hit the streets of South Tampa Sunday morning to turn Gasparilla trash into recycled treasure and help keep Tampa Bay beautiful. 

For the 10th year in a row, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful (KTBB ) registered hundreds of volunteers for their annual "After Gasparilla Clean Up". 

In 2019, volunteers braved low temperatures and rain but still managed to collect tens of thousands of pounds of debris. 

"We collected over 25,000 strands of beads and over 55,000 pounds of trash," said Laura Riiska with KTTB. 

Volunteers started in the South Tampa neighborhoods and worked their way toward Bayshore Blvd. armed with garbage grabbers, safety vests and trash bags. 

"Some of it is recyclable so we try to recycle as much as we can," said KTBB Board President Stan Kroh. "The really cool thing about the beads is any beads that are in good condition they are segregated and we give them to MacDonald Training Center and they package them up for resale so even the beads are getting recycled."