In a drastic move to address general fund budget gaps, the city has begun to remove trash cans from neighborhood parks.

About 400 trash cans will be removed from 128 neighborhood parks and from all urban trail corridors within the next two weeks.
Justifying the decision, city spokesperson Julie Smith said,  “The parks department spends approximately $5,700 per year on trash bags and containers. The 2010 General Fund budget for parks maintenance was reduced by $3,816,676 from the original 2009 budget (or 64 percent) and 27 parks maintenance positions were eliminated.”
The city suggests that trail and park users pack out all trash from neighborhood parks and urban trail corridors. Trash cans will, however, remain in place at sports complexes, community parks, regional parks and special event venues.
If you’d like to restore trash service to your neighborhood park, you can help by adopting a park or trail. For more information, visit or call 385-6519.


  1. This is a move that will likely result in trash being left on the ground through out our City Park and Trail system.

    Ed Ward

  2. YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING! This place is becoming a dump – in more ways than one. WAKE UP People and embrace some serious change in this neck of the woods! You can’t eat scenery – or garbage for that matter!

  3. Are you kidding me!?! So who is going to clean up all the trash as people throw it on the ground because there are no trash cans? How much is that going to cost the city. We’re talking only $5,700 a year! The city can’t afford to pay for trash bags and containers to keep our city beautiful, but yet the city can find money to support the “Mayors 100 Teens” program and have the Mayor on a fundraising campaign for it as well? $12,750 allocated from the city, and $38,250 through a fundraising campaign – That’s FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS to a program that does NOTHING except provide a warm fuzzy feeling for the kids who are selected and perhaps a line note on their college transcripts. With our city in such a financial crisis how is the use of money for this program justified? How about taking the $12,750 that the city allocated to this program and putting it to better use …. such as TRASH BAGS and CONTAINERS so our city doesn’t turn into a garbage dump!?!

    How about Mayor Rivera and our city council begin a fundraising campaign to SAVE OUR CITY!!!!!

  4. Wow! I’m so looking forward to the next hike through trash! Bestway Disposal, I love your services especially your recycling program, won’t you step up to the plate here and offer free trash pickup? Or maybe you can help organize a few of your clients to make donations? I for one would be willing to make donation to keep these services!

  5. This is one of the DUMBEST things I have ever heard. Next they’ll be spending millions to plow up all the sod in the parks, then claim they are now worthless so they have to be sold. Shall we start closing streets because we can’t maintain them either? This kind of stuff will just lead to a general deterioration of the ambience of our city. To save $5700 in bags?

  6. typical government bureaucrat response — “let’s hit those taxpayer’s where it hurts with our shortage so they’ll give us more in taxes”…$5,700 savings=big inconvenience for taxpayers…why not pick a target that is more inconvenient for bureaucrats?

  7. Parks are, and have been for several years, at the back of the line for City funding. The percentage budget cut for parks was a lot greater than for other sectors of City government. The current crisis brought on by the economic downturn and abetted by the defeat of 2C gives us the unique opportunity to take parks funding completely out of the general fund budget by creating a Parks Authority similar to the Library District. The Trails and Open Space Coalition is leading a Sustainable Parks Initiative to do just that. I encourage all of you who are concerned about trash piling up in our parks to become involved and support Sustainable Parks. Thanks.

  8. Whoever thought of this should be fired. 200+ million dollar annual budget and they can’t pony up $5700 for trash can in parks. This is absolutely asinine.

  9. I think this is only the first move the city will make in this regard…

    ….recall several years ago when the city (under budget pressure) stopped maintaining the flower beds along certain downtown streets, conjuring up volunteerism (good thing) and a promise the city would quickly restore that portion of the parks budget. I believe several people/groups are still maintaining some of these gardens, but many have perished into dirt eyesores.

    I agree, I too look forward (NOT) to walking through the additional trash that will accumulate.

    The comment about 2C, I recall that the threat was several cops and firefighters would lose their positions if 2C didn’t pass. 2C didn’t pass and these safety folks (glad to hear) didn’t loose their jobs…

    Did I hear today the city is finding another ~$1.9M for USOC – when will this blundering bleeding stop?

    Off to get my poker and trash bag….

  10. All to save about a penny per person in the area per year????? Maybe we should all look on the floor, find a penny to contribute and take it down to city council so they can afford the trash cans. Personally, I am happy to pay LOCAL taxes to keep our city and beautiful….. but even if the majority of people in the city are not, we don’t need our local govenment pulling stunts like this just to prove a point.

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