Could Fewer Trash Cans Mean Less Litter?

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park, state park, river, lake, trash can, sidewalk
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has removed 372 trash cans from state parks over the last three years. And, surprisingly, park managers report seeing less trash on trails. Photo: Flickr/Shlomi Fish

Fewer trash cans mean more litter, right? Not if Ohio’s state parks are any indication.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has removed 372 trash cans from state parks over the last three years. And, surprisingly, park managers report seeing less trash on trails, according to an article published on Monday by The Columbus Dispatch.

As part of the department’s “Carry In, Carry Out” program, park-goers are asked to manage their own waste by leaving with the trash they bring in, reports Waste & Recycling News. Parks have also begun selling reusable containers and water bottles in gift shops to reduce plastic waste, reports The Columbus Dispatch.

In addition to cutting back on litter, removing trash cans also saved the department a whopping $65,000 in disposal costs in 2010, reports The Chillicothe Gazette.

“Any way that the parks can save money is a good thing for them to do,” Paul Wolf, president of Friends for the Preservation of Ohio State Parks, told The Columbus Dispatch.

“Maybe I’m naive,” Wolf told the paper. “I have faith in people, and if you ask them to do something, something they care about…I think most of them are willing to help out and try and keep the parks clean.”

Due to high success rates, the can-cutting program – which began in the southwestern part of the state – will expand to central Ohio this spring, reports The Columbus Dispatch.

READ: Could Bigger Bins Mean More Recycling?

Mary Mazzoni

Mary Mazzoni

Based in the Phoenix metro area, Mary is a lifelong vegetarian and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking and relaxing in the park. When she’s not outside, she’s probably watching baseball. She is a former assistant editor for Earth911.

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