Between the five million visitors who come through Yosemite National Park each year and the park’s 2,800 staff members, California’s famous national park sends nearly 2,200 tons of garbage each year to the Mariposa County Landfill.
In early 2016, the park launched its new Zero Landfill Initiative to try to combat this problem, according to the park’s website. In partnership with Subaru of America, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Yosemite Conservancy, Yosemite hopes to divert 80 percent of the park’s waste from the landfill by the end of 2017.
The initiative is clearly still in the forefront of the minds of many working in the park, as Yosemite posted a video about the initiative and how park visitors can help on their Facebook page on Aug. 23. In the video, Park Ranger Jodi Bailey lists off the small things visitors can do to reduce waste, including the types of camp stoves they should be using and what kinds of water bottles and food containers are best to bring into the park.
With the Mariposa County Landfill quickly filling up, Yosemite has a simple request for visitors on their Facebook page: “Be mindful of what you bring to the park, reuse containers and recycle!”
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Waste reduction is hardly new for Yosemite, as the park launched its recycling program in 1975, according to the National Parks Service’s website. With this new program, the goal is to build on the infrastructure and achievements already in place to conserve Yosemite for many generations to come.