A visitor disposing of garbage at Emily Provincial Park.

What to do when garbage bins are full

Access to green space and parks continues to be essential.

With so many visitors enjoying campsites, parks, and beaches this summer, it has resulted in an influx of food and garbage left behind.

This excess waste creates a dangerous situation when it is not disposed of properly. We’d like to ask our visitors to follow responsible garbage can etiquette on their next visit.

If the garbage is full, don’t add to the pile

This is the big takeaway.

Overflowing garbage can

If the bin is full please do not leave your garbage on top of or next to the bin. Overflowing trash bins are an eyesore and can ruin the park experience for other visitors.

They also create a host of harmful issues for wildlife. Trash left out is an animal attractant, and can bring unwanted encounters with wildlife into busy park spaces.

bear near garbage

This can be dangerous for both our visitors and the wildlife themselves.

What should I do with my trash if the bin is full?

If there is no space in the first garbage can, make sure you take a look around your area to see if there is another available bin.

If no empty garbage cans are available, take your trash home with you.

You can avoid any trash issues with proper planning and preparation for your next visit. Pack an extra trash bag for your visit just in case, and use it to package up your trash to take home.

Garbage cans with camp chairs stuffed in

If you have any large items like broken equipment, we ask that you also take these home with you. Our garbage cans are not designed to hold things like broken tents, chairs, and umbrellas.

But why are they full? Why don’t staff just empty them more often?

Our staff put in amazing efforts to keep our parks clean.

They work hard to make sure that garbage is frequently emptied, but at times the garbage is more than they can keep up with.

When visiting parks, remember to do so responsibly and respect park resources. It takes a team to manage a resource sustainably and we can all make a difference together.

What else I can do?

If you want to be an extra trash-savvy visitor, there are a few things you can do to help.

Some planning and preparation can go a long way. When packing for your visit, think about every item you’re bringing. When you come to the park prepared, you are more likely to minimize your impact on the environment.

Reduce the amount of waste you bring into our parks by bringing your food and drinks in reusable containers that you can bring home afterwards. If visitors bring less waste, there is less to divert!

Snacks and water in reusable containers.

Pack out and properly dispose of whatever waste you create, including biodegradable items. They can take months to biodegrade and, in the meantime, they attract animals.

Remember: pack it in, pack it out. If you bring something with you, take it with you when you leave. We should always leave no trace.

Let’s be park protectors!

We work hard to protect the beautiful green spaces of Ontario Parks so that everyone can enjoy them safely and reap the benefits for their physical and mental well being.


By working together, we can ensure that our parks remain clean, safe, and beautiful for visitors to enjoy for years to come.

Thank you for doing your part!