Human Waste Disposal

Personal Portable Toilets and Human Waste

Dumping any form of human waste on the playa is illegal, and there is no dumping facility in Black Rock City. Anyone who illegally dumps human waste unsafely is creating a health hazard and jeopardizing the future of our event, since it violates our event permit. You are responsible for the safe handling and disposal of your human waste. If you see somebody dumping waste, please help the community by letting them know that what they’re doing is illegal and report the matter to the Black Rock Rangers.

The following laws apply to the Burning Man event:
NAC 444.5466 Disposal of sewage; plumbing (for Camping) and NAC 444.5492 (regarding provision of toilet facilities for mass gatherings) [See below]

Servicing of Porta-Potties and RVs on playa is handled by United Site Services. They make sure our public Porta-Potties are clean and provide a limited number of trucks that provide RV (and other container) servicing in Black Rock City. Large camps can contract directly with United Site Services to provide large containers or personal toilets, for a fee. Otherwise you must use the public potties distributed throughout Black Rock City. Contact USS in Nevada for more information about renting/leasing your own containers.

If you see a United Site Services truck designated ‘RV Servicing’, you can flag them down to make servicing arrangements. There is no location for scheduling RV servicing appointments.

RV servicing costs $50 for trailers up to 24′ long, and $60 for one grey and one black tank for RVs that are 25′-35′ long. Each additional or over-sized tank is $30. USS only accepts cash, so plan ahead. You must have a contact person meet the pump-truck at your RV. Keep a space clear for the truck to access your RV; pump hoses cannot reach beyond 30′.

For container servicing, the container must be hard-sided with a minimum 2-inch hole for their servicing wand. Soft-side containers and plastic liners get caught up in the vacuum. Evaporation ponds are difficult but can be serviced.

Portable toilets will be provided for all participants and are serviced regularly. Use these facilities only for their intended purpose — not for dumping garbage or your personal potty bags. Putting anything other than human waste and one-ply toilet paper (2-ply or other kinds of toilet paper damages USS servicing equipment) into the portable toilets makes pumping nearly impossible and threatens the survival of the Burning Man event. DO NOT PUT TAMPONS, TRASH OR HANDY WIPES in the portable toilets. THIS MEANS YOU!! IF IT WASN’T MADE BY YOUR BODY, DON’T PUT IT IN THE POTTY!!

Put the toilet lid down when you’re done, as it helps keep odors under control. Do not dump grey water or bags from your personal “potty” in the portables rented for participant use: doing so will fill them up much faster than normal, making for nasty toilets. For tips on proper disposal of your grey water, see this page.

Do not defecate on the playa! Not only is it illegal, but it also creates an unpleasant mess for everyone, especially those who restore the playa after the event. Finally, if there is a truck servicing a bank of potties, wait until they are finished so as to not interfere with their work. Our vendors work really hard so we can all enjoy Burning Man!

Hand sanitizer is supplied at every porta-potty station. If you find a station is out, go to your closest Black Rock Ranger station and tell them the address of the potties. To be safe, bring some hand sanitizer with you to the playa — it’s just a good idea to have some hand sanitizer with you, no matter what the circumstance.

(Please note: there are also numerous potties on Gate Road)

If you’re going to use a personal toilet, that’s great. Just pack it out and dispose of your used bags along with the rest of your trash.

NRS 444.630 Prohibited acts; criminal penalty; clean up of dump site; community service; timing of commencement of clean up; proof of lawful disposal; revocation of business license; identification of violator; persons required to enforce provisions; issuance of citation; request for and provision of information.

  1. A person who places, deposits or dumps, or who causes to be placed, deposited or dumped, or who causes or allows to overflow, any sewage, sludge, cesspool or septic tank effluent, or accumulation of human excreta, or any solid waste, in or upon any street, alley, public highway or road in common use, or upon any public park or other public property other than property designated or set aside for such a purpose by the governing body having charge thereof, or upon any private property, is guilty of:
    1. For a first offense within the immediately preceding 2 years, a misdemeanor.
    2. For a second offense within the immediately preceding 2 years, a gross misdemeanor and shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 14 days but not more than 1 year.
    3. For a third or subsequent offense within the immediately preceding 2 years, a gross misdemeanor and shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for 1 year.
  2. In addition to any criminal penalty imposed pursuant to subsection 1, any civil penalty imposed pursuant to NRS 444.635 and any administrative penalty imposed pursuant to NRS 444.629, a court shall sentence a person convicted of violating subsection 1:
    1. If the person is a natural person, to clean up the dump site and perform 10 hours of community service under the conditions prescribed in NRS 176.087.
    2. If the person is a business entity:
      1. For a first or second offense within the immediately preceding 2 years, to:
        1. Clean up the dump site; and
        2. Perform 40 hours of community service cleaning up other dump sites identified by the solid waste management authority.
      2. For a third or subsequent offense within the immediately preceding 2 years, to:
        1. Clean up the dump site; and
        2. Perform 200 hours of community service cleaning up other dump sites identified by the solid waste management authority.
  3. If a person is sentenced to clean up a dump site pursuant to subsection 2, the person shall:
    1. Within 3 calendar days after sentencing, commence cleaning up the dump site; and
    2. Within 5 business days after cleaning up the dump site, provide to the solid waste management authority proof of the lawful disposal of the sewage, solid waste or other matter that the person was convicted of disposing of unlawfully.
      The solid waste management authority shall prescribe the forms of proof which may be provided to satisfy the provisions of paragraph (b).
  4. In addition to any other penalty prescribed by law, if a business entity is convicted of violating subsection 1:
    1. Such violation constitutes reasonable grounds for the revocation of any license to engage in business that has been issued to the business entity by any governmental entity of this State; and
    2. The solid waste management authority may seek the revocation of such a license by way of any applicable procedures established by the governmental entity that issued the license.
  5. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 444.585, ownership of solid waste does not transfer from the person who originally possessed it until it is received for transport by a person authorized to dispose of solid waste pursuant to this chapter or until it is disposed of at a municipal disposal site. Identification of the owner of any solid waste which is disposed of in violation of subsection 1 creates a reasonable inference that the owner is the person who disposed of the solid waste. The fact that the disposal of the solid waste was not witnessed does not, in and of itself, preclude the identification of its owner.
  6. All:
    1. Health officers and their deputies;
    2. Game wardens;
    3. Police officers of cities and towns;
    4. Sheriffs and their deputies;
    5. Other peace officers of the State of Nevada; and
    6. Other persons who are specifically designated by the local government to do so, shall, within their respective jurisdictions, enforce the provisions of this section.
  7. A district health officer or a deputy of the district health officer or other person specifically designated by the local government to do so may issue a citation for any violation of this section which occurs within the jurisdiction of the district health officer.
  8. To effectuate the purposes of this section, the persons charged with enforcing this section may request information from any:
      1. Agency of the State or its political subdivisions.
      2. Employer, public or private.
      3. Employee organization or trust of any kind.
      4. Financial institution or other entity which is in the business of providing credit reports.
      5. Public utility.

    Each of these persons and entities, their officers and employees, shall cooperate by providing any information in their possession which may aid in the location and identification of a person believed to be in violation of subsection 1. A disclosure made in good faith pursuant to this subsection does not give rise to any action for damages for the disclosure.

[1:83:1953] + [2:83:1953]—(NRS A 1957, 262; 1967, 580; 1969, 126; 1981, 858; 1983, 856; 1989, 484; 1991, 1672; 1993, 814; 2001, 12351920; 2001 Special Session, 141; 2003, 111113