The Marin Municipal Water District is reducing the number of trash cans on the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed and asking visitors to help protect the natural beauty of the mountain by carrying out their own garbage.
And, yes, that includes dog doo, too. Have you noticed plastic bags of pet waste placed by the edge of your favorite hiking routes? Dog owners will be doing us all a service by placing these in garbage receptacles at the trailhead or back at their house.
By removing underused cans and replacing individual cans with larger, centralized trash receptacles, the water district is aiming to reduce environmental impacts on the watershed and beyond. So far, 24 garbage cans (almost 40 percent of the total) have been removed or relocated. The remaining cans are being consolidated to parking lots and main trailheads.
With fewer cans scattered about the watershed, fewer truck trips are needed to service them, which in turn means fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The changes will also reduce the amount of time district rangers spend emptying the trash, thereby freeing them up for their primary duties of protecting watershed lands and ensuring the safety of visitors.
The district also is looking into ways to reduce impacts from failing vault (concrete or plastic tank) toilets on the watershed. The trash and toilet tweaks not only will help keep the watershed green but will save the district some green—an estimated $12,700 per year.
The Mt. Tamalpais Watershed encompasses 18,500 acres and is a primary source of drinking water for 185,000 residents of central and southern Marin. It is also home to great natural diversity with over 900 species of plants and 400 species of animals, including 77 rare, threatened and endangered species. The watershed welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors every year from throughout the Bay Area and beyond who come to enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, picnicking and wildlife viewing.
Thank you for doing your part to help take care of this very special place!