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Ban on Glass and Styrofoam Containers in Effect at Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Lake Mead.

The Overton Arm at Lake Mead. Photo by Jim Burnett.

Officials at Lake Mead National Recreation Area are expecting plenty of visitors for the holiday weekend, and they're reminding them about new regulations that went into effect last March: glass and styrofoam containers are no longer welcome in the park.

The prohibition on both types of items was instituted last March to reduce litter and make beaches safe from broken glass.

What this means for visitors is no more wine or beer in glass bottles. Alternatives are now available with plastic bottles and cans and boxed wine. The classic styrofoam ice chest and even traditional instant cup-of-noodles are no longer welcome.

“We will be focusing our efforts this summer on informing visitors of the new rules, and encouraging them to purchase more lake-friendly products such as paper, plastic, and aluminum. Visitors can also help by cleaning up after themselves and throwing away their trash,” said Chief Ranger Mary Hinson.

Although some may question applying the term "lake-friendly" to plastic and aluminum containers, the intention is clear: containers made of those items at least don't pose the same safety hazard as broken glass, and those styrofoam items crumble in seemingly innumerable small pieces which scatter far and wide.

The Placer Cove area on Lake Mohave, near Nelson, Nev. has also been closed to alcoholic beverages in the new rules. This according to Hinson is to make the area more family friendly. The alcohol closure is in effect within a one-mile radius of the cove.

“Our goal with these new rules is to keep visitors safe and to keep the recreation area clean so that they can enjoy their time here,” said Hinson.

Fines for the new glass and styrofoam rules won't go into effect in areas where they were previously permitted until January 2010. (Parts of the park's Boulder Beach area were previously closed to glass containers.) Park rangers hope the education effort this summer will keep them from having to issue citations in the future.

The superintendent of Lake Mead National Recreation Area prohibited glass and styrofoam containers in the entire park in new closures released in March 2009. A full compendium of park designations, closures, permit requirements, and other restrictions is available on-line.


I have never posted before but would like to offer this little story. Last weekend I went hiking in Prince William Forest NP, in Virginia. There were signs posted in every picnic area that said "This is a trash-free park." I saw there were no trash cans anywhere. I also saw there was not one speck of trash anywhere. The whole park was pristine clean. I guess you can take it with you when you go!

I love your site and have learned so much! Thanks.

Bat -

Thanks for the comment - and confirmation that the battle against trash can be won!

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