Carry In - Carry Out

Delaware State Parks rely on user fees for about 75% of the operating and maintenance budget. In order to keep park fees low, State Parks has continually found new, and innovative, ways to save money and operate more efficiently. In 1994, the Delaware State Parks established the Carry In - Carry Out Trash-Free Parks Program. Trash cans were removed from most areas and visitors now take their trash with them when they leave, reducing the strain on limited resources, and increasing the beauty of the parks.

The Carry In - Carry Out Trash-Free Parks Program has:

  • Redirected staff resources to other projects.
  • Fostered a partnership between visitors and the parks by encouraging all visitors to help maintain clean parks.
  • Improved the appearance of the parks by removing trash cans that detracted from the beauty of the natural environment.
  • Encouraged visitors to bring reusable containers and to recycle as much as possible.
  • Increased the safety of your visit by reducing the number of bees, wasps and other pests in the picnic areas and campgrounds.
  • Reduced the cost of trash removal annually from the parks by approximately $55,000, with a total savings of over a million dollars since 1994. Delaware State Parks are largely self-supported and the money saved on trash removal funded other programs and facilities enjoyed by visitors.

This program has been an overwhelming success and your continuing cooperation means cleaner parks for everyone. As always, trash bags are available to help you help us with the program. Families and groups needing larger bags should plan to bring their own. Thank you for supporting Delaware State Parks.