EVEN “NATURAL” WASTE IS LITTER

EVEN “NATURAL” WASTE IS LITTER

Think it’s alright to leave organic waste such as fruit peels and uneaten food on the national park’s desert floor? Park Ranger Pam Tripp says you should think again…

Many visitors to Joshua Tree National Park make efforts to reduce the amount of waste they produce by re-using or recycling. While it is great to use a compost heap for kitchen scraps or organic waste at home, remember that orange peels, apple cores, and banana skins do not decompose quickly outside of a compost pile, and tossing them on the ground degrades the natural landscape.

In this arid environment, an orange peel left along a trail to “compost” may not break down for up to 2 years. In the meantime, that peel damages the aesthetics of the trail, encourages others to litter, attracts pests, or may be eaten by desert wildlife, which could sicken the animal.
You can help us keep your national parks clean by disposing of all your waste properly. Trash receptacles are located at many areas in the park and zip lock or re-used grocery bags are a great way to store trash until you are ready to dispose of it.

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