Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Florida County Parks Remove Trash Cans, Save Money
TCPalm.com, the new system — modeled after successful programs in Seattle and the National Park System — requires park patrons to take their trash home with them upon leaving the park. All garbage cans have been removed from the 10 impacted parks, and four restrooms were closed in an effort to keep the parks open and save an estimated $190,000 a year, park officials said.
Thanks to a drop in both staff and tax revenues, the St. Lucie County, Fla., Parks and Recreation Department is converting 10 of it 77 parks into "Pack It Out Parks." According to |
“We’re all feeling the effect of the economy. The residents don’t want to raise taxes, and the revenue has diminished,” St. Lucie County Parks and Recreation manager Guy Medor said. “As we go through this transition, my advice for the public is to carry a trash bag with them, pack up the trash and take it home with them.”
Some concerned parkgoers fear that won't happen. “Because of this, maintenance will have to increase in the long run and the parks are going to deteriorate,” said Port St. Lucie resident and avid park user Michael Sabater. “People are going to end up throwing their trash on the ground and forgetting about it.”
“We’re not going to turn our back and let the parks go to waste,” Medor countered. “Our response time is going to be affected, but we will still mow and monitor the parks, but not as often.” County parks director Debbie Brisson added that the new policy is a good way to involve park users in the stewardship of parks. “It’s an educational process for people to help us maintain these neighborhood parks,” she told reporter Nicole Rodriguez. “And it’s been very successful in other parts of the country.”