As a Result of Shutdown, National Parks Overflow With Trash and Human Waste

National parks around the country have seen overflowing toilets and trash piling up since the government shutdown began nearly three weeks ago. Park experts are now warning that the damage may take years to undo. We speak with Jonathan Asher, government relations manager at The Wilderness Society.

Transcript

AMY GOODMAN: But before we go there, I want to go to what’s happening in the national parks. Since the shutdown began, they, around the country, have seen overflowing toilets, trash piling up. Park experts are warning that the damage may take years to undo. On Tuesday afternoon, Democratic Representatives Jackie Speier and Jared Huffman of California delivered a blue bin full of garbage collected from national parks to the White House. They labeled the bin “Trump Trash.” This is Congressmember Huffman.

REP. JARED HUFFMAN: Today, I’m bringing boxes of trash from that rainy Saturday in San Francisco to provide a reality check to the president, so that he understands that his political stunt in shutting down the government over the border wall has real-world consequences. Trash like this—diapers, burrito wrappers, coffee cups and more—is building up in parks we represent and in national parks all over the country.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re joined right now by Jonathan Asher, government relations manager at The Wilderness Society. What’s happening in the country’s parks?

JONATHAN ASHER: Hey, Amy. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it. You know, the national parks are kind of one of the main ways that the public interacts with their government. It’s, you know, from the parks to the national forests and local communities. And right now I think we’re seeing a lot of resource damage, a lot of unsafe conditions. And, you know, we’re really hoping that the president will move to reopen the government quickly and get our parks back in safe condition and really protecting our resources.

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