Florida County Parks Remove Trash Cans, Save Money

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 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.

"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."

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