The trash can from South Carolina’s Myrtle beach travelled 5500 km (3500 miles), washing ashore on a County Mayo beach.
Americans sure know how to make an entrance. And it seems it’s no different even for their trash cans, as Keith McGreal discovered.
Walking along a route in Mulranny last Sunday, he made an odd discovery along the way. A blue trash can-shaped barrel was lounging along the shore of the West Coast. A bit less glamorous than a message and a bottle.
He soon discovered that the trash can was from South Carolina, USA, and somehow found its way to the County Mayo beach.
The investigation begins – an email to the city of Myrtle beach
McGreal decided to take action and email the city of Myrtle beach agency to share his shocking discovery. It went as follows:
“I wanted to share some images of a Blue Trash barrel that has been washed up on our local beach on the West Coast of Ireland, Mulranny, County Mayo.
“We spotted the stickers and thought it would make a good news story.
“Amazing to think it travelled all the way across the Atlantic. Over 5500 km away.”
The government’s response – a trash can’s humble journey from South Carolina to Mayo
Amazingly, they responded, saying:
“Thanks for the email and photos, Keith!
“That’s an amazing voyage for a trash barrel, although we’d prefer that it stayed put on our beach, rather than gallivanting all over the world via the Gulf Stream.
“I don’t think it’s possible to tell when it went missing, but it probably was during a wind or storm event. We typically remove trash containers from the beach before a hurricane, but this one apparently had a mind of its own.
“We’ve already had a city employee volunteer to come fetch it. Thanks again for sharing. Please recycle our wayward traveling can. And, come see us next time you’re on this side of the pond. Slán leat!”
Surprises ashore – similar incidents all over the world
Although this trash can’s journey from South Carolina to Mayo is certainly something, it’s not new. This isn’t the first time that we’ve witnessed inanimate objects having a wild aquatic adventure.
Back in 1990, over 61,000 Nike trainers were rushed off a freighter during a storm in the Pacific Ocean.
As late as 2019 there have been recordings of such trainers washing ashore in parts of Europe, the Bahamas, and beyond.
Let’s not also forget the time in 1992 when a cargo ship holding over 28,000 rubber ducks spilled into the ocean, eventually making their way to France.
In good hands – the bin’s final resting place
Ironically, Mr McGreal is a safety and environmental officer. Talking to New York Times, 44-year-old McGreal claimed that “The first reaction was, ‘Wow,’” he said.
“It was covered in goose barnacles as well […] It was obviously in the water for a long time, making its way across the sea.”
And what was the fate of this elusive trash can may you ask? Well, it appears that it’s a happy ending after all, as Keith has given the bin a new lease of life.
He cleaned it up before leaving it on the beach for the people of Ireland to use. Poetic.