Smoke clears on 4/20, exposing big piles of garbage

After 4/20 comes the 4/21 cleanup, as city staff hit Sunset Beach to deal with the mess left behind by the annual smoke-in and festival.

After the 4/20 smoke-in comes the 4/21 cleanup as city crews tackle huge mess left behind by 30,000 revellers

Huge piles of garbage were left behind at Sunset Beach by 4/20 revellers in 2016. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

They came, they smoked, they left behind garbage ... lots of garbage.

That's what a city crew was left to deal with after yesterday's 4/20 rally, which saw roughly 25,000 marijuana advocates take over Sunset Beach for the annual pot protest and festivities. 

Vancouver's Director of Parks says the 4/20 mess is comparable to a fireworks night. (GP Mendoza/CBC)

"We're never sure what we're going to face first thing in the morning, so we have 10 people here sweeping through the beach and park," said Howard Normann director of parks operations for the City of Vancouver.

"We have to watch for all kinds of things for safety."

Park Board chair Sarah Kirby-Yung estimates the cost of the cleanup will surpass last year's bill of $93,000.

At first light the crew was concentrating on the swath of park and beach that runs from the Burrard Street Bridge to the Inukshuk at English Bay, forming giant piles of garbage as they went.

City cleanup crews were out early this morning sweeping the area between the Burrard Street Bridge and the Inukshuk at English Bay (GP Mendoza/CBC)

Normann estimates the mess to be comparable to what is normally left behind after a night of fireworks.

"Our sanitation is coming down this morning with their big trucks and we'll load it all up and hopefully have it cleaned up before lunch," he said.

A seawall cyclist surveys a 4/20 garbage pile (GP Mendoza/CBC)

With files from GP Mendoza and Farrah Merali

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