- Almost every park in Layton, UT has not a single garbage can and hasn't for 13 years, which is intended to discourage people from generating litter. Layton park officials claim the municipality has had no indications that there is a need to change the policy and add trash cans.
- While there are no regular cans for everyday use, the city's two largest parks have dumpsters, put out refuse containers for special events, and have crews that routinely go out on cleanup patrol.
- The nearby town of Farmington—which also does not put trash cans in its parks—said they found when they have provided receptacles in the past, the area accrued more litter. "It seems counter-intuitive, but my parks guys swear by it," said Farmington City Manager Dave Millheim to the Standard Examiner.
It's a risky move to remove waste receptacles from public areas, and the decision can offer mixed results. In New York City, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority removed waste bins from the subway stations and reported that riders were leaving 36% to 66% less trash in stations. However, a state audit following the decision reported that removing the cans did not necessarily make the stations cleaner or cut down on the rodent population, though it did save work and "possibly some money."
The decision seems to be working out for Utah parks, however. "[The 'no trash can rule'] was something adopted by the city council years ago. For as long as I’ve been around, it’s been 'pack it in, pack it out,'" Ryan Pickup, Layton’s parks superintendent told the Standard Examiner.
Not many people complain, he said, though Layton resident Jamie Yoder is among a couple of locals who reportedly does not particularly like the plan. "I think it’s a little bit crazy. When you go to a park, you don’t really want to worry about carrying you’re garbage along with you," she said to the Standard Examiner. Although she described the scenario as more of an inconvenience than a litter problem.
On the contrary, Farmington City Manager Dave Millheim finds it makes plenty of sense, commenting the trash cans get overfilled and if they aren’t emptied immediately, garbage spills over and has attracted animals that make more of a mess.
Meanwhile, places like Ohio University are cutting way back on outdoor trash cans, but they have not nixed receptacles altogether—instead, they're amping the number of recycling bins on campus.