Attendees share thoughts on the nature of Burning Man
Burning Man celebrants may find themselves holding poop bags while dancing at this year’s festival in the Nevada desert.
Authorities are concerned about the amount of human waste in the “deep playa,” an area away from the center of the event where some of the loudest parties take place, according to the Reno Gazette Journal. The newspaper added that the deep playa is also far from bathrooms.
The Bureau of Land Management, the government agency that oversees the festival in the Black Rock Desert, suggested mobile raves close to the portable toilets, along with signs reminding people to use the facilities, in a recent report reviewing the 2017 Burning Man festival.
The agency, which noted that festival staff and volunteers already “search for and quickly clean up human waste deposited during deep playa music events,” also suggested that staff hand out poop bags or pee bottles for events in the deep playa — or ask participants to bring their own.
Staffers who clean portable toilets at Burning Man need to clean out anything that isn’t human waste or single-ply toilet paper; over the years that’s included a mattress, cigarette butts and a roast chicken, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.
The Bureau of Land Management also suggested event organizers get more creative and humorous as they conduct outreach about Leave No Trace — one of the 10 guiding principles of the event.
“We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather,” Burning Man says on their website about the Leave No Trace principle. “We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.”
Any waste left behind is known as MOOP, which is an acronym for “matter out of place.”
The Black Rock Desert, located in northwestern Nevada, is part of a designated national conservation area that also encompasses High Rock Canyon, according to the Bureau of Land Management. The conservation area is about 800,000 acres.
Black Rock Desert is about three and a half hours north of Reno, the third-most populous city in Nevada.