Camp Clean Up Plan
Borrowed from Burning Man Earth Guardians, since we subscribe to it 100-percent, have already been living by it every year in Black Rock City (and beyond), and it says everything that needs to be said.
Clean-up Plan Basics
Before we leave for the desert, we plan four things:
- We plan to use materials for our campsite that lessen waste, and are recyclable or reusable.
- We will avoid bringing small trinkets, flimsy paper, small feathers (boas) and glass bottles since they typically get left on the playa for others to clean up.
- We plan to set up camp in a way that is easy to keep clean.
- We plan the breakdown/cleanup of our camp in detail, accounting for every board, stake and scrap., by packing in all the necessary tools for clean-up.
We hereby designate Andy Stevko (aka Boy Scout) as the camp LNT expert, this person will ensure that our camp stays clean before, during and after the event. He will also be given the task of making our camp fun and spontaneous, yet clean. He will get help with the cleanup from fellow BRC residents if and when it is needed. He will also take part in planning our purchases and encourage us to reuse / recycle / reduce. He will be there when it's time to take down and sweep our camp for every last trace and will make sure everything left goes with us.
To minimize our impact on the Playa, we will follow these rules:
- We pledge to Leave No Trace in and around our campsite, including our own and others’ waste. We will plan to put time aside for the cleanup, and plan the assembly and takedown of our structures and decorations to simplify their removal. We will keep our recyclables , burnables, and non-burnables separated for easier disposal, recycle our aluminum, and bring no glass to the Playa.
- We will clean as we go, realizing that any trash or MOOP (matter out of place) can blow away or be buried at any moment. We have assigned volunteers to check around camp daily for loose MOOP. We will take care of any trash left by our guests, invited or otherwise.
- We won't light fires on bare ground, leaving scars. If we must burn, we'll use a public burn barrel or burn platform and follow the safety guidelines for fires and burn scar prevention. We'll sweep up and haul out the ashes.
- We won't dig holes more than 6 inches in diameter or trenches, scarring the Playa.
- We will keep all items tied or weighted down, and leave papers at home.
- We will leave extra space in every vehicle on the way to the desert, knowing that repacking will inevitably take up more space. We will take all trash in sealed containers to a landfill on the way home. After cleaning our camp, everyone in our camp will devote at least two hours to the general city cleanup (e.g. trash fence, local port-o-potties, café, etc).
- We will pack out everything and we won't put any trash into the port-o-potties or leave any trash near the potties. They are not a public trash dump, let's keep our toilets functional and our city beautiful!
We will bring the following items for our Camp's Clean-up Day (Sunday)
- Flat-blade shovel
- Big yellow whiskbroom
- 5-gallon bucket and mesh bag for wet kitchen scraps.
- Separate containers for recyclables, burnables, and nonburnables.
- Rope and string for tying loose stuff down.
- Small spare bags for collecting trash as we wander.
- Lots of industrial strength trash bags, more than we think we'll need!
- Cheap work gloves for everybody.
- Long-handled sledgehammer for compacting in 5-gallon buckets and driving stakes.
- Altoids boxes for smokers’ butts.
- Vise grips for removing stakes and rebar. Magnets for picking up small pieces of metal
- Extra water storage space for unevaporated gray water.
Leave No Trace Tips
- We are taking the packaging off just about everything before we leave home. (Batteries out of their plastic, dried food out of its box, etc.) We'll lay in a supply of reusable containers to transport this stuff to the playa. We shouldn't bring too much food, because we probably won't feel like cooking. This will reduce the amount of waste in our camp. It should affect the way we shop, too.
- Most of the junk left on the Playa is due to three little words: Not Enough Room. people often find that they have a harder time packing to leave the playa - everything's expanded! So, leave about 8 cubic feet of extra space (2x2x2=8) in each vehicle. Think of our cleanup plan as a loading plan. We should also consider borrowing or renting a larger vehicle this year. Our goal: take away everything we brought with us and a few things we didn't know we had.
- Don't let it hit the ground. Keep all items that are loose tied down and secure. Keep bottles and cans in camp. Don't leave stuff lying around with the intention of cleaning up later.
- If it doesn't come out of our bodies, it won't go in the potties. Trash dumped into the potties clogs the lines (only 3 inches in diameter) and makes it much more difficult to empty and clean the potties. If folks dump their trash in the potties, we will be stuck with no where to go to the bathroom!
- The most common items found on the trash fence are toilet paper, feathers and small pieces of plastic. Common items found during clean-up include pistachio shells, cigarette butts, and wood chips (1) Keep toilet paper in the port-o-potties, not on the ground, (2) Leave the feather boas at home this year, and (3) make sure loose items can't fly during the frequent wind storms we have on playa. Bring along a personal trash container when you are walking around outside your camp. Pick up after some forgetful camper.
- What we learn at Burning Man is this: change is possible. We take the lessons we've learned, including living in a waste-free manner, home with us. It's the best possible way to recycle our trash - turning it into good habits
- We are a society of activists, engaged in radical self expression and radical self-reliance. We are aware of the waste we generate, and we take care that none of it affects the desert or our fellow citizens.