Skip to main content
Back to Resources

Skills Series: Trash Timeline

From Leave No Trace

Stewardship Monday, April 1, 2024

Litter in the outdoors poses a threat to wildlife who may ingest the trash we leave behind. When litter breaks down it leeches chemicals into the surrounding environment, which negatively impacts nearby vegetation and could contaminate water sources. Even trash that is sometimes considered "natural or biodegradable" like banana peels, orange peels, and apple cores can be harmful to wildlife. Trash also creates a negative visitor experience for many of us.

Most trash takes a long time to decompose or break down which heightens the chances it can impact the places we love. In this Skills Series topic, we talk about the trash timeline, using research from a USDA Forest Service Study that averages the amount of time it takes for trash to biodegrade, corrode, or photodegrade in a variety of environments.

Read the full article

Help protect Colorado's natural beauty for future generations

View Stewardship Resources
Proudly funded by the Colorado Tourism Office