Help us clean up trash in the Catskills

Truckloads of trash have been left in wild Catskills spaces every week during the summer of 2015. The problem is growing, officials say. 

In partnership with Visit Vortex, the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and other organizations, we're starting a Catskills Trash Cleanup Campaign.

Help us map #CatskillsTrash locations and get them cleaned up. Email a photo and its location to, or post a photo and its location with a #CatskillsTrash hashtag on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We’ll add it to our map of trash hotspots.

Then: Pick it up. Show us how you left the Catskills better than you found them. Share your tales and photos of cleanups and tag them with #CatskillsTrash. We'll keep track of trouble spots and will get in touch with DEC rangers and volunteer groups to coordinate cleanup efforts. 


Click on an icon to see a photo of trash that's been dumped in the Catskills. Add your photos of trash to the map! Email photo & location to Full story here. Link to full-page map here

Other ways to help clean up Catskills trash:

1) Attend a volunteer clean-up day. The Catskill Conservation Corps and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference are hosting a Blue Hole cleanup work day on Monday, Sept. 7 — Labor Day — from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Meet at the Olive Town Hall and park at 45 Watson Hollow Road, West Shokan, NY 12494 at 1:45 p.m. to get a ride -- that will keep parking issues at Blue Hole itself to a minimum.

2) "Leave no trace” and "carry in, carry out." “The public can be of help by carrying out what they carry in and disposing of their trash appropriately,” said DEC spokesperson Wendy Rosenbach. “This generally means bringing it home and disposing of it with their household garbage.”

3) Pick up a little extra trash on your own. “If the public wants to help out, they can pick up whatever trash they are comfortable with,” DEC spokesperson Rick Georgeson said. “The [rangers do] come across people who do this and it’s appreciated.”

4) Avoid high-traffic hotspots. There are many other places to swim in the Catskills that aren't being overused, Rosenbach said. The DEC recommends its North/South Lake CampgroundMongaup Pond CampgroundBear Spring Mt. CampgroundLittle Pond Campground, and Vernooykill Falls.