Each year, Burners come from all over to attend Burning Man for a week. With so many people in a desert, there’s bound to be some conundrums. This time it’s waste management, literally. Instead of leaving waste scattered around the playa during the celebration, organizers urge all attendees to clean up after themselves using the available poop bags.
Making it to a bathroom in a timely manner in Black Rock City poses many difficulties. Those extravagant costumes do not come off so easily or a sandstorm is coming your way. The most common reason is that most find themselves mesmerized at a lit rave deep in the “playa”. Cohorts migrate to this decently far center in search of music other than pulsing electronic so they, too, can dance until sunrise.
Recent reports from the Bureau of Land Management expressed concern about the number of people letting it all out. Black Rock Desert may be a dust flat in Northern Nevada but defecating in public is still offensive. What’s the solution here? “Mobile rave zones” may move closer to Porta Potty hubs with signs reminding party-goers to use them. Volunteers and staff already search for and quickly clean up human waste during the event. Now they will also be asked to hand out waste collecting bottles and bags.
10 principles guide this festival with “leave no trace” being one of them. This encourages environmental wellness and safety. Anything brought or produced by nature is a matter out of place (MOOP) and should be dealt with. Even thought toilet etiquette is nothing new, some that practice it properly still manage misconduct. Next time you uncover a mattress, full roasted chicken or thousands of cigarette butts and baby wipes from stink infested waters, let us know how that went.
As a federally protected national conservation area, it’s vital to keep Black Rock clean. Burners, please just use the toilets this year. Dancing with poop bags in your Camelbak is no bueno.