State Parks Taking Out the Trash

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Visitors to state parks over the Independence Day weekend may find themselves with an unexpected task _ hauling out their own trash.

Michigan is nearing the end of a three-month test of whether residents can clean up after themselves.

Park rangers have removed trash cans from day-use areas of 31 state parks and ordered visitors to take rubbish home with them.

The program is intended to save money and encourage conservation. But it has drawn criticism from some legislators.

A House and Senate conference committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a budget amendment to discontinue the program next year.

More than 2.5 million people visit Michigan's 97 state parks each year.

The Department of Natural Resources says the recreation areas are cleaner with the program.