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Carry in, Carry out

Wisconsin State Park System

Most Wisconsin state park and forest picnic areas, shelters, beaches and other day-use areas do not have garbage or recycling bins. When you visit for a few hours or less, you will need to take your garbage and recyclables home with you.


The parks belong to all of us and we need to care for them and keep them clean. Removal of the garbage and recycling containers eliminates the smells and mess they create. It also cuts down on insects, skunks and other pests.

Ideas for cutting down waste

Wisconsin state law requires us to recycle many materials we used to throw away. We can also make new choices of what to bring with us. The more reusable things we pack, the less garbage we create. It's good for us and for the environment.


  • Bring reusable cups, plates and utensils.
  • Bring beverages in reusable containers.
  • Use cloth napkins and tablecloths.


  • Buy durable outdoor equipment. It may cost more at first, but it will last longer. That saves money and resources.
  • Repair old equipment. Replace the torn webbing on beach chairs. Put patches on leaky air mattresses. Don't throw them away!


  • Separate recyclables from the rest of your trash.
  • Typical recyclables: aluminum cans, steel (tin) cans, bimetal cans, #1 and #2 plastics, glass, paper and cardboard. Bag them up and dispose of them through your community recycling program.
  • Typical non-recyclables: paper or cardboard that has contained food and #3 - #7 plastics. Discard these items in your home garbage.

Help close the "recycling loop" by buying products made from recycled materials!