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Full Version: Trash left in Cottonwood AZ
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I live in Cottonwood AZ and on my local Facebook group there are 7 pictures of a ton of trash recently left by boondockers Angry . In fact a group of local volunteers  got together to clean it up to this point and then "Boondockers United" had to pay someone  $45 to haul it away. 

This happened recently at another spot in Sedona and now boondocking is banned there. The same will happen in Cottonwood. 

To me it is SO SAD that people who get a free place to stay would do this and ruin it for everyone. Why would people do this? What can be done? I bet most of you would hate to lose these privileges so perhaps you have ideas.
I can't help but wonder how it was determined that boondockers did this. 

The folks i know and have camped near would not do that,  and even strangers I've camped near don't. 

I have seen trash left behind by people,  usually kids in my experience,  who drive out to some campsite to party.  But even then,  most of them clean up. 

I guess I need to stay away from Cottonwood and Sedona.   I don't want to get blamed for something I didn't do. 


We had the same type of situation last winter in Ehrenberg.

A beautiful site down by the Colorado river that a bunch of us had used the winter before had been totally trashed.

The problem was, it obviously wasn't boondockers, it was locals. From the type and amount of garbage left it was someone who thought that paying to take stuff to the transfer station was too complicated so they brought the truck down to the river and dumped it in a campsite. From the volume I'd say they'd done it repeatedly.

It took 3 guys several hours to sort and pile all the debris and then 4 of us and most of a day to load it in a pick up truck and haul it to the local transfer station. We had pre-arranged with the transfer station to waive the fees for us after we explained what we were doing.

4 trips to get it all out of there. 4 pickup bed loads that were loaded to the hilt.

What I'm saying is that not all of the trash that is left is left by boondockers. Yes, some of it is but not all. From what I saw at Cottonwood the year before was that some areas were heavily used by locals who came out to party...they were the worst for leaving a mess. Next in line for mess were the disenfranchised - living out of their cars by necessity because they had been evicted. They were also local, they needed to be inside of their comfort zone for various reasons including knowing where to find their usual sources.

The solution - that's a difficult one. Each of us can be a part of the solution.

Every camp site I occupy, I clean up while I'm there. It's always cleaner when I leave than when I arrive. Having done years of trail maintenance on hiking trails, picking up as I walk is deeply ingrained. I usually come back from a walk with my pockets stuffed with small pieces of trash.
It's really irritating how trashy "some" people are. IMO those are the same ones who will leave a shopping cart where they unloaded it instead of pushing it ten feet to the cart rack.
As Pat mentioned, I have seen messes like that left by partying kids. And adults.... The result can be the same though, no matter who did it, getting a free camping spot shut down.
As Almost There said,  adding the disenfranchised.   Good point.   But I have camped near some of them, living out of their car.  They did a great  job of cleanup. 

I've seen piles of trash driving down the road,  especially in the country,  because IT SEEMS that some people don't want to pay (or don't have the money ) for trash removal.   So they drive out to the woods to dump that sofa, old washing machine, or unwanted dog!  I've seen this kind of behavior LONG  before I've ever heard of boondockers.   

Again,  locals.

It’s like most negative situations in life:

“You get the masses, you get the asses.”

It’s too bad; the few ruin it for the many.

Hats off and kudos to all of you who spend your time picking up and volunteering.
sad. there is no excuse for this type of behavior. highdesertranger
I still have not seen how it was determined that boondockers did this! 

I am very interested in that. 

Pat, short of sorting through the trash and identifying the owner there is no way of knowing who left what!

But, I can say with good certainty that the locals will blame those darned boondockers each and every time! After all, we're staying free on public land and at the same time tying up the parking lots at the stores, choking the roads with our vehicles etc. etc. so therefore we must be the bad guys, doncha know!

All we can do is be as courteous as possible and keep cleaning up after those that don't - after all there is no place to hang 'mom's rules' on a wall out there.... Big Grin

Oh, and if you see someone deliberately leaving trash, get their license plate number and report them. We did a couple of times on the bank of the Colorado, we knew it was locals coming down to dump trash, one in particular. We'd see the pick-up come down the road with stuff in the back and then return empty - it was a dead end road, not hard to figure that one out!

I also sometimes choose to do the same thing with people who litter as those who don't clean up after their dogs. I'll pick  up the trash and hand it back with a cheerful 'Hey, you dropped this!'. To doggie people I hand them a pottie dog anymore I just carry the bags... Smile
I have to agree with Pat on this. how was it determined that boondockers did this? unless we have proof we shouldn't post that it was boondockers. I see this on youtube, someone doesn't like a group so they blame that group with no real evidence. I have pulled into campsite before and found trash all around. several times I have had my suspensions about who's trash but what can you do without proof, clean it up and keep your suspensions to yourself. highdesertranger
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