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Old 07-10-2015, 07:39 AM   #58
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,569
Here is what the regs have to say about garbage:

190.3 Camping sites

a. Areas used for temporary camping and adjacent lands under the jurisdiction of the department must be kept in a neat, clean and sanitary condition. Garbage and refuse must either be deposited in receptacles provided, or removed.
So it is pretty clear that burning garbage is a violation of the regulations, as you are not removing it. I don't think any ranger would have an issue with groups burning paper, as long as it is incidental- using newspaper to start the fire, etc. If you carried all of your paper waste onto state land to burn, then there would certainly be an issue.

Many rangers will take issue with groups burning plastic and metal, though- even small quantities of it. Environmental concerns aside, the problem is that a lot groups don't take the time to ensure that these have fully been consumed before departing the site. Plastic can leave behind sticky residues coating the fire pit that make a huge mess and are a pain to clean up, and we've all seen the remnants of burnt cans left behind.

The same is true of food waste- I've frequently found remnants of marshmallows, hot dogs, hamburgers, etc., left behind in fire pits to smolder. Obviously, this can attract animals. Even if the food waste is being fully consumed, adding it to the fire can cause the smell of the food to be spread more fully over a wider area, which can also attract wildlife.

Given the propensity of many members of the outdoor recreating public to not do things properly, or even just considering the large numbers of people who recreate in the Adirondack backcountry (and who come to these forums for advice and information about how to behave while hiking and camping), do we really want to be publicly advocating an ethic that encourages everyone to burn their trash on state land?
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