Volunteers carrying large feed bags dotted the Island’s beaches Saturday as they collected trash for the Vineyard Conservation Society’s 24th annual Earth Day Beach Cleanup.

Rodrigo Rego picking up trash during beach clean-up Saturday. — Alison L. Mead

Kenny Ivory has participated in the event every year since it began. This year he brought along a cart to collect trash from along the shore of Sengekontacket Pond, across to the bike path.

“We always find a pair of shoes and we always find undergarments,” he said.

A chunk of rusty wire, a pair of boots, a piece of wood, bags of trash and many beer cans filled Mr. Ivory’s cart. “Bud Light takes the number one spot for cans,” he said.

Across the street at Bend in the Road beach Elio Silva, daughter Amanda, 7, and her friend Amy Maeda, 8, used gloved hands to add beer and nip bottles to an impressive pile of trash they had collected. A rusted old fuel tank and large canvas tarp were among their finds.

Girl Scouts Alex Harris, Amity Turner and Madeleine Bengtsson volunteer their time. — Alison L. Mead

“This is the beach we come to the most so we wanted to contribute,” Mr. Silva said.

VCS programs and membership coordinator Signe Benjamin said Monday that 300 people volunteered for the clean-up this year. Nip bottles, cigarette butts, plastic bags, balloons and string, and fishing gear were the most common items collected, she said, while there were also a few unusual finds: a plastic pirate sword, crime scene tape, parts of a Boston whaler, car tires and containers with oil.

While many volunteers participated purely for their love of the beaches, some young volunteers had the added benefit of collecting community service hours as well.

Volunteers from Alex’s Place added a bag of their finds, which included an umbrella and a plastic bleach bottle, to Mr. Silva’s pile.

Amanda and Elio Silva and Amy Maeda pick up trash at Bend in the Road Beach. — Alison L. Mead

“We found a fishing pole with barnacles on it...it’s been there for awhile, said Rodrigo Rego, 17. “I was pretty surprised about some of the stuff. Like a light bulb. What?”

By participating in the beach clean-up Rodrigo and Matt Medeiros, 14, earned community service hours toward a 56-hour requirement for a Digital Connectors class they are taking through the YMCA.

“It’s always nice to participate in the community either way,” Matt said. “We want to keep the beaches clean and looking nice.”

The Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts tackled the beach from the Steamship Authority pier to Inkwell Beach. Troop 91 scout Ethan Fink kept track of the volunteers, who earn badges based on their hours of community service.

“We feel that it’s not fair that all the animals in the ocean have to suffer and we have our clean lifestyle,” nine-year-old Girl Scout Alex Turner said.

Alex and fellow scouts Amity Harris, 10, and Madeleine Bengtsson, 12, said they collected candy wrappers, plastic water bottles, glass bottles, silver foil, Styrofoam cups and cigarette butts. Hydee Turner, 7, found a wallet. “It was empty,” she said.

Volunteer beach cleaners spread out along Sea View avenue in Oak Bluffs. — Alison L. Mead

The young environmentalists had strong feelings about keeping the beaches, and the Island, clean all year long.

“At [Oak Bluffs] school there are signs that say ‘Make Every Day Earth Day,’” said Alex.

“This is our home,” Amity added. “In the summer you’ll see hundreds of people on the beach and you’ll see them throw bottles on the beach.”

Beer cans and bottles were among the most collected items on the beaches, as well as balloons and ribbon.

Mr. Ivory collected six balloons along Sengekontacket.

“I don’t want to put the balloon people out of business, but I don’t know if they could put a sign up that says ‘this could be an environmental hazard’, he said. “Balloons are beautiful but if they’re going to be detrimental to the environment…”

Troop 91 leader Jon Healy agreed. “Maybe instead of releasing balloons, people could plant a tree instead.”