A Look at National Park Trash Production, Perceptions, and Reductions

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 26 June 2019



National Park Trash
National Park Trash, Zach Miller/Utah State University.
The amount of waste produced in national parks in a concern for park and protected area managers. Handling visitor waste...can tax systems to the extreme. Zach Miller/Utah State University.


National Amusement Parks, Or Natural High Points?

National Trash: Reducing Waste Produced in US National Parks,
S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources, Utah State University, June 25, 2019.


Overwhelmed Nation
Overwhelmed National Parks
"Given the recent substantial increase in national park visitation in the United States, impacts on visitor experience and ecological conditions have correspondingly increased."

Annual National Park Trash Output
"100 million pounds"

Extreme Stress
Too Many People

"Handling park waste costs money, involves significant effort, and requires human and natural resources that tax parks to the extreme."

Trash Experience
"There are definable reasons people choose to drop their soda can in a recycling bin rather than a trash can ... moral beliefs, peer pressure, convenience ... and reasons people choose not to recycle."

Moral Responsibility?
"Many visitors are predisposed to be environmentally responsible and follow behaviors that benefit and protect national parks. Parks need to reinforce messages of moral responsibility and make it easy for them to dispose of waste properly."


Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics


Research Note
Exploring visitor attitudes, values, and behaviors regarding waste in national parks



Bottom Line

Which Question?
The hard question here is the, "moral question," consisting of the moral dilemma posed by our government and green, "leaders," only looking at, and addressing the superficial manifestations of our having overwhelmed nature with trash, against honestly identifying and eliminating the root sources, the causes of our being drowned in trash.

Sinking California
The bottom line is that we have at least twenty million too many people in California for our sustainable natural carrying capacity, for our social and economic infrastructures, or to even preserve what remains of our natural environment and resources into the future. This massive population now creates rivers and oceans of waste... wherever they are, which is everywhere.

World Leader in Foolishness
California leads the way in coordinating the local and globalized forces of destructive greedy irresponsible growth that are already far down the road in its process of destroying our traditional climate, weather, and environment, while Yosemite transforms into a mini-version of the filthy Los Angeles megacity, every Summer.


June 2019 Trail News








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study, National Park waste, waste, garbage, National Parks, reduce, recycle


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