To keep Arlington’s Iwo Jima memorial trash free, trash cans are removed by the park service

ARLINGTON, VA. - NOVEMBER 10: The sun begins to rise behind the Iwo Jima Memorial on November 10, 2010 in Arlington, Virginia. The U.S. Marine Corp. is celebrating today its 235th birthday and is the oldest of the U.S. military services, established by the Continental Congress on November 10, 1775. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
The sun rises behind the Iwo Jima Memorial  in Arlington. Hopefully trash will not begin rising below. (Mark Wilson – Getty Images)

It may seem counterintuitive to some, but in order to keep the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington less cluttered with trash, the National Park Service has removed the trash cans.

The ever-vigilant folks at ARLNow.Com reported this the other day, and said cans had also been removed from the Netherlands Carillon, Roosevelt Island, the LBJ Memorial Grove and the Roaches Run waterfowl sanctuary. And according to a memo explaining the “Trash Free Park” concept, the park service said cans are going to be removed this year from Great Falls Park, Turkey Run Park, two George Washington Memorial Parkway Overlooks, Fort Marcy and Daingerfield Island.

The cans are being removed, the park service said, because “visitors are expected to carry out the refuse they generate and dispose of it properly at home or at another appropriate destination.” The goal is “fostering a partnership between visitors and the parks by encouraging all visitors to help maintain clean parks, reduce solid waste within the park, and embrace the ideas of reduce, reuse, and recycle.”

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Prince William Forest Park, Catoctin Mountain Park and Monocacy National Battlefield apparently already have trash-free programs. Statistics show between an 80 and 95 percent rate of people responsibly removing their own refuse, the park service says, which means the park generates less trash, spends less energy on trash and spends less employee time dealing with trash.

The most popular comment by far on ARLNow.com’s article came from Tower Man, who said: “Oh yes, this strategy will work perfectly. Nobody will just throw their trash on the ground because they can’t find a trash can. No sir. Not a chance of that.”

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.

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Tom Jackman · May 10, 2013