Trash Free Park

On April 22nd, 2013, Great Falls Park started its trash free program.

All trash cans have been removed from the park.

Please be prepared to carry your trash out when you leave the park, and dispose of it properly.

A trash free program has many benefits, including:

  • Fostering a partnership between the visitors and the park by encouraging people to take an active role in maintaining a trash-free park.
  • Encouraging people to adopt a carry in, carry out Leave No Trace principle.
  • Encouraging people to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Reducing odors in the picnic area.
  • Increasing visitor safety by reducing the number of stinging insects, rodents, and other wildlife in the picnic area.
  • Park hours and funds spent on trash collection can be applied to other projects and improvements within the park. These projects include facility and grounds maintenance, and resource preservation.
  • Reducing the amount of litter in the park.
  • Establish a commitment towards park sustainability and responsible park use that will carry on to future generations.


Ideas for Cutting Down on Waste


  • Buy durable, reusable picnic plates and silverware. This eliminates plastic and saves money.
  • Repair equipment such as chairs and sports equipment.


  • Bring reusable tablecloths and cloth napkins.
  • Use reusable plates, cups, and silverware.
  • Bring beverages in reusable containers. A free water refilling station is located next to the snack bar and is open year-round.


  • Separate recyclables from the rest of the trash and recycle them at home.
  • Ask your local collection service about what items you can include in your home recycling bin.
  • Purchase products that are packaged in recycled materials.
  • Start a compost heap at home.


Links and Additional Resources

Leave No Trace- official website for the Leave No Trace stewardship program.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle- The Environmental Protection Agency's website with information and tips on how you can reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Last updated: July 9, 2021

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Mailing Address:

Great Falls Park
c/o Turkey Run Park
George Washington Memorial Parkway

McLean, VA 22101


703 757-3101
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