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  1. #1
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    Default trash on the trail

    So what can we do about the trash that some people leave around shelters and other places. It would be great if there was a bear proof trashcan at most road crossings, and not have to haul all the way into town. It seems most trail angels that do the big BBQ set up have a trash can. Thank You !! I'm thinking of carrying a few plastic grocery store bags, filling 1 or 2 with trash and hauling out, and offering bags to other "let's clean up the trail folks" The trail maintainers have enough to do with clearing brush, privies etc. It's wrong to expect them to haul out our trash. Geez in the 60's and before there was actually a trash dump near each shelter. The mouse and bear problems are real and have been created by us. We can make it better maybe even fix it. We need to do a better job of preventing trash and cleaning up after ourselves.
    Another possibility: Maybe seeing someone throw something on the ground getting out a grocery bag putting trash in bag and asking person to carry it out.
    If most of us pick up a bit of trash, the trash will eventually go away.

  2. #2
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    Default

    +1.... I always end up carrying out others crap...if I see anyone leave there trash I definitely say something!!!


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  3. #3

    Default

    If they put trash cans at road crossings (which would have to be expensive bear proof ones), someone would have to go empty it and pay for disposal. Since many of these road crossings are at out of the way places in small, rural towns or unincorporated townships, they do not have the resources or man power to do so. A lot of state and city parks have removed trash cans for budget reasons. You will find the occasional trash can at trail crossings on state roads which also have a picnic area.

    Finding trash along the trail is fairly rare. The occasional candy or power bar wrapper which is easy enough to bend over and pick up if you see one. The bulk of the trash is left at shelters and at road crossing with the assumption "someone will come and get it". But I am always amazed at the amount of clothing I will see along the trail and the number of shoes - usually only for one foot.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  4. #4
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Default

    Litter Bugs (intentional or accidental) are in the minority and all of us should be carrying our own trash bags.

    It shouldn't be a big deal, and we'll go a long way towards keeping the back county clean if each one of use would collect some of this trash and simply add it to our own until we get to some place where we properly dump our trash.

    Now I'll admit that this idea doesn't really work for larger items I've found at campsites and shelters (such as clothing and even an entire 4 man tent). I've got to admit that I look the other way when I see a piece of "trash" that you can describe its weight in pounds rather than grams.

  5. #5

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    Most folks either don't understand LNT practices or don't care, I always carry an extra trash bag to pick up others trash.

  6. #6
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    I always use at least one of my camp shoes to carry out others trash......bread bags are dual purpose!!


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  7. #7
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    Default

    i only pick up stuff on the actual trail. never from shelters, fire pits or trailheads at roads

  8. #8

    Default

    I pick up whatever is in a fire ring. If there is a trash receptical nearby, I put it in that.

    If a more rural hike, I carry a lawn and leaf bag.

    My personal rule: one trash bag. If I do that much, at least I helped.

    There is more trash carried by the wind against fences or to "low spots" where it accumulates.

    Trash. Maybe that is the origin of the expression. Trash.

  9. #9
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    I would worry that in addition to the expense of putting in trash cans and making sure someone empties them, it may also encourage littering in the general area because of the idea that somebody else is going to come by and clean it up. Any sign of civilization nearby, which I would categorize trash cans as, seems to increase the amount of litter. I think the kind of person who will drop trash in the woods for any reason will still not feel compelled to dispose of it in a proper container if one is available.

  10. #10

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    We did notice a fair amount of trash this spring on our thru attempt but much worse than that is the ever growing amount of graffiti on every flat writable surface, it should be a federal offense to carry a Sharpie on the Trail.
    "every day's a holiday, every meal a feast"

  11. #11
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    If some hiking organization, civic organization, or other entity decided to put trashcans at road crossings it would not last long. Why you ask? Because the indigenous Ricky Redneck types would see it as a great place to take their household trash and drop it off for free instead of doing the correct thing and taking it to a local dump or convenience site.
    This happens daily here in western NC. Boat ramps, public parks, heck even trash cans along city sidewalks are collection sites for lazy cheap bastards.
    The only thing that we as hikers and backpackers can do is “pack out” more litter than we produce. I always pick up trash and haul it out. It is our duty as stewards of the environment to do so.
    The trashiest shelters are the ones relatively close to road access as unethical people tend to be rather lazy as well.
    IF your "number of posts" exceed your "days as a member" your knowledge is suspect.

    Yerby Ray
    Newton, NC

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerbyray View Post
    If some hiking organization, civic organization, or other entity decided to put trashcans at road crossings it would not last long. Why you ask? Because the indigenous Ricky Redneck types would see it as a great place to take their household trash and drop it off for free instead of doing the correct thing and taking it to a local dump or convenience site.
    This happens daily here in western NC. Boat ramps, public parks, heck even trash cans along city sidewalks are collection sites for lazy cheap bastards.
    The only thing that we as hikers and backpackers can do is “pack out” more litter than we produce. I always pick up trash and haul it out. It is our duty as stewards of the environment to do so.
    The trashiest shelters are the ones relatively close to road access as unethical people tend to be rather lazy as well.
    If someone was going to place a can, they'd probably have to put it along the trail a bit off the road - far enough not to be convenient to drivers, but close enough for whoever would empty it.

  13. #13
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    Default

    bears and other animals will tear into any garbage can. just pack out your trash. i been doin' it n30 years

  14. #14
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    The people who deserve a special place in hell (or at least a $1000+ fines) as the idiots who throw used wag bags on the trail between Mt. Whitney and Whitney Portal. And the people who collect them deserve sainthood, or something close to it. I've picked up random trash on trails from time to time but draw the line at human waste.
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

  15. #15

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    We have bear-proof food and waste containers in the western states.

    Some of the designs are not so good. Other designs work very well.

  16. #16
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    Sometimes, I think that some are being drama queens on this topic and make is sound like the AT is a carpet of garbage up the trail. This past summer I saw no trash on the trail between Front Royal and Harpers Ferry. Worst I can think of is the couple summers in a row in Grayson Highlands, were the cigarette butts that we picked up between Elk Garden and Buzzard Rock, and then an M&M wrapper that was in as established fire pit along Whitetop Laurel Creep between the Creeper Trail and the AT (You can see that wrapper in my photomof making coffee, and breakfast in my photo gallery).

    Quote Originally Posted by elray View Post
    We did notice a fair amount of trash this spring on our thru attempt but much worse than that is the ever growing amount of graffiti on every flat writable surface, it should be a federal offense to carry a Sharpie on the Trail.
    I am saddend that people really believe that such laws are the solution to problems... why not make vandalism a crime? I fear for the future of the republic when I see thoughts such as this.
    igne et ferrum est potentas
    "In the beginning, all America was Virginia." -​William Byrd

  17. #17
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    After High Rock in MD Ive never seen graffiti the same way again...
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=Coffee:1935507]After High Rock in MD Ive never seen graffiti the same way again...[/Q
    UOTE]
    Amen brother. Incredibly ridiculous.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L’Amour

  19. #19

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    Vandalism is a crime.

    Graffiti: In San Francisco, CA they had a chemical wash for concrete freeway structures and some walls. They also had a clear spray, making removal easier.


    I would rather hiking be less accessible for the "public".

    After all, I don't have a "right" to a handball court, a racquet ball court, a squash court, a lacross team sport, a fencing club, and on and on.

    The only "right" I have to those activities is to get involved, if I can find someone willing to let in a complete "beginner" by bringing them along, and, showing how it is accomplished.

    Why should hiking be treated as a right of "public access"?

    Hiking should be treated like any other special interest: as long as it doesn't damage protected lands, it is tolerated.

    Every special interest is, after all, only tolerated as much as people have special interest activities. If they go about doing damage, no more tolerance.

    For example, in Washington State our county fair grounds was used for car bashups. There is some special name for the activity.

    It damaged the fairgrounds arena for other activities: broken shards of metal and glass.

    Their activity was relocated to an abandoned airport property.

    It involved an amount of cooperation.

    It did not require a Foundation or a non-profit, or, the law.
    Last edited by Connie; 01-08-2015 at 20:17.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    After High Rock in MD Ive never seen graffiti the same way again...
    At least it's not directly on the AT. Would be quite nice if it wasn't for the paint, crushed natty ice cans, and Big Mac wrappers. I don't like doing it, but I tell section hikers to skip the side trail and stay on the traditional route.

    I don't know if it's humorous or sad all the folks that drive up there like its something special. I kind of feel bad for them.

    Sometimes, I think that some are being drama queens on this topic and make is sound like the AT is a carpet of garbage up the trail. This past summer I saw no trash on the trail between Front Royal and Harpers Ferry.
    Lucky you. This past week I hauled a whole trash bag of rubbish from Rocky Run shelter to Washington Monument SP where a Good Samaritan took it off my hands. I'm just happy I had a trash bag, I'm not even sure how it got in my pack, but I had it. .

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