Let’s talk about poop

There are no permanent toilets at the Fruit Bowl Highline area currently. Last year (2016), Slackline U.S. supplied 5 bucket toilets and hauled out 35 gallons of human waste. With around 400 people on site at the peak, we know that was only a portion of the total waste. It was a start. This year, we’ll have more and better toilet systems.

How to handle 300 gallons of human waste

A group the size of GGBY can produce upwards of 300 gallons of human waste in 5 days. Managing that sort of waste in a place as remote as the Fruit Bowl is an interesting challenge.

For GGBY 2017, there will be 5 porta potties in the Fruit Bowl parking lot and 4 groovers (camping toilets) closer to the Fruit Bowl. Please try to use the porta potties in the parking lot as much as possible. The groovers have a much smaller capacity and will be emptied as needed during the festival, but the less times we have to haul out poop, the better.

The groovers are meant primarily for solid waste. Urine is less of a concern in terms of environmental impact. We are asking everyone to please pee into a wash (sandy area, often looks like a sand river) and try to minimize the amount of urine in the groovers.

Please avoid digging catholes to dispose of waste. The desert soil can’t handle human waste the way a lush forest soil could.  Your contribution could be there for years and have an impact on the local ecosystem.

Zip lock bags and sawdust can make for a relatively easy and clean way to haul out everything. You can buy wag bags that do the same thing. Small containers of human waste can be thrown in the trash (like a baby’s diaper). Other options are to bring a well sealed container as a temporary toilet and dump the waste in an actual toilet when you return to civilization.

If you want to manage your own waste, please do! Check out the links on the side for some suggestions of how to collect and dispose of human waste.

Desert Ethics - Poop - Slackline US 2

Pack it out

If you do bury it, please bury it well and use as little toilet paper as possible. But this should be the last option in the desert.

Check out this Leave No Trace article with some great information on poop management ideas.

Guide to Going Number 2

And if you’re bringing your dog, remember There is No Dog Poop Fairy.