Trash Free Park

Brown and white trash free park sign
Trash cans have been removed from many areas throughout the park. Please be prepared to take your trash and recycling home for disposal.

NPS Photo/L. Taber


What is a Trash Free Park?

A Trash Free Park is a solid waste management strategy of removing trash bins from all or sections of a park. Visitors are expected to carry out the trash and recycling they generate and dispose of it properly at home or at another appropriate destination. We want to foster a partnership with you, the visitor, to help maintain clean parks, reduce solid waste within the park, and embrace the ideas of reduce, reuse, and recycle.

What do we do with our trash in the park?

You are responsible for removing all trash and recycling for proper disposal when you leave the park. We encourage you to come prepared when you visit: bring the materials you will need to package and carry your trash out of the park when you depart.



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 and pests in the park.
  • Increasing visitor safety by reducing the number of stinging insects, rodents, and other wildlife in Lower Town, the picnic area, battlefields, and parking areas.
  • Reducing the amount of litter in the park.
  • Establishing a commitment towards park sustainability and responsible park use that will carry on to future generations.
  • 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.
Man putting trash bags in vehicle trunk
Be sure to carry trash out with you when you leave the park.

NPS Photo

How to Support this Effort

Ideas for Cutting Down on Waste


  • Buy durable, reusable picnic plates, cups, water bottles, and silverware. This eliminates plastic waste and saves money.
  • Repair instead of replace equipment like chairs and sports equipment.
  • Order your ice cream in an edible cone instead of a disposable cup.
  • When ordering a drink to go, ask the restaurant or cafe to put it in your reusable container.
  • Only take what you need and will use - extra napkins, straws, condiment packages, and other small items add up quickly when you have to carry them out!


  • Bring reusable tablecloths and cloth napkins.
  • Use reusable plates, cups, water bottles, and silverware.
  • Bring beverages in reusable containers. When ordering a drink to go, ask the restaurant or cafe to put it in your reusable container.


  • Separate recyclables from the rest of the trash and recycle them at home.
  • Ask your local collection service what items you can include in your home recycling bin.
  • Purchase products that are made from and packaged in recycled materials.
  • Start a compost heap or worm bin at home.
An open and full homemade wooden home composting bin
Home composting bin.

NPS Photo/Holtslander

More Information

Last updated: August 25, 2021

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
National Park Service
PO Box 65

Harpers Ferry, WV 25425


304 535-6029

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