There is no garbage collection service in BRC. It is up to each of us to remove all Matter Out of Place (MOOP) from our camps and our city. Our permit with BLM allows us a short period of time to restore the playa to its original condition. We can only satisfy BLM stipulations and pass inspection if ALL citizens share the responsibility of Leaving No Trace by MOOP sweeping our camps, art projects, and beloved Black Rock City.

Everything you bring out to the playa can become Matter Out of Place: tent stakes, bottle caps, ashes, wood debris, orange peels, cigarette butts, pistachio shells, rope fibers, sequins — even bicycles. It all has to return home with you. Pack it in. Pack it out. Whether on the Black Rock Desert or beyond, Leaving No Trace demonstrates our community’s commitment to the environment.

A comprehensive Leave No Trace plan begins long before you arrive on the playa. Included below is a list of items to bring, and a list of others it’s best to leave at home. For a comprehensive overview of camp waste management, see this helpful guide by Juergen Jaschke from the Black Rock Sauna Society Camp.

  • The following items are most likely to become MOOP: glitter (not allowed in BRC), feathers, rhinestones, Astroturf, sequins, styrofoam coolers, plastic bags, paper, string, disposable drink cups, hay bales, straw, gravel — or anything that can blow away in the wind.
  • If you must buy single-serving drinks, choose aluminum cans over glass bottles. Don’t bring plastic! Aluminum cans can be recycled at Recycle Camp.
  • Carry a MOOP bag everywhere you go — deep playa, art pieces, dance floors — LNT applies to the entire playa, not just your camp.
  • If you smoke, bring a pocket ashtray (for example, a mint tin) to collect cigarette butts and ashes (yes, ash is MOOP!). 
  • Kitchens, construction areas and workspaces generate the most MOOP. Packing a tarp to lay down in those areas can save a lot of clean-up time.
  • Rope and other tie downs are required for securing everything in your camp and for strapping anything on top of your vehicle for the trip to or from the playa.
  • A plastic milk or water jug with a handle is ideal for collecting MOOP around your camp (which you should do throughout the week). 
  • Showers are great on the playa, but shower water is gray water, and not allowed to hit the playa. Remember to bring a water containment device. Conserve shower water by reducing frequency, using biodegradable wipes, or taking shorter showers (or showering with friends! — with consent). The more water you conserve or evaporate, the less gray water you will need to collect from your containment device and bring off playa.
  • Don’t want to haul gray water home? You have options! The Playa Living section of our website has great ideas for properly dealing with gray water.
  • Bringing fuel for a generator? Make sure you have a secondary container to stash your fuel containers in so they don’t leak on the playa. Plastic storage totes or kiddie pools work great.
  • Want more tips? Check out the Earth Guardians’ tips for keeping Burning Man clean and green.