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Camino Trash

2020 Camino Guides


We were truly shocked: So much trash lying around the Camino today! When we went last, 2002, it was much different. Plastic bottles, crisps bags, complete waste bags, you name it. And the ubiquitous white tissue paper lying under trees and bushes all along the way, ARRGGHHH!

One guy some way in front of us stopped, and left his tent on the wayside, right in the middle of nowhere. What are these people thinking?

Sorry to bring this up, but something must be done to tidy up the Camino and keep it clean. Presently, itŽs a disgrace.



Staff member
Hmmm... not good. :(

I wonder if it can be explained by the strike that is going right now. This strike includes trash trucks and trash has not been picked up in the last 4-5 days.

It does not explain, of course, the behavior of the guy with the tent... :(



Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
This is sad. I thought there had been a marked improvement between May 2001 and April 2003, particularly near the towns. Last year I did not notice a problem until after the Cruz de Ferro, when it became really horrible because the country was so spectacularly beautiful and the litter so intrusive.

Another example of the camino being a victim of its own popularity.

Credentials are usually issued subject to the recipient observing courtesies of the road; perhaps it needs to be put into writing somewhere that pilgrims must not litter, AND must carry their own waste until they come to a suitable receptacle. Rubbish dumpsters are usually on the outskirts of towns; it would help if every town had one sited beside the camino.

Maybe pilgrims could be issued with a small plastic bag to carry rubbish? With a threat of losing their credential if they are caught dropping stuff? Although it would be truly terrible if the plastic bags were then dropped!

Like most of life's petty annoyances, litter is a problem of attitudes not facilities. Every time you go to the supermarket you get given at least one plastic bag, which you can easily use to keep rubbish in until you get somewhere you can dispose of it (in fact, they're useful for all sorts of things). The problem with any regulations, related to the credencial or anything else, is that they're basically unenforceable: there's only one person who can stop litter-dropping and that's the person dropping the litter.


Camino revisited

Peter Robins said:
... litter is a problem of attitudes not facilities. ... there's only one person who can stop litter-dropping and that's the person dropping the litter.
True, but only partly.
The other truth is that there are many litterbins along the Camino that are never emptied, they spill their contents all over the place.
This time of the year, with the vegetation somewhat receded, the sight is absolutely revolting, trash left, right and centre. And turds and Kleenex all over the restareas.



Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
Which is yet another reason for choosing the via de la plata


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
I walked in May this year, and was horrified by the amount of rubbish. The first few days, from Roncesvalles, the path was quite clean. But the further I walked, the more rubbish I saw. The Meseta was particularly dirty, with piles of rubbish everywhere.

Yes, there were rubbish bins which looked as if they were never emptied, but that's all the more reason to take the rubbish with you to dispose of in the next town. If people are capable of carrying full water bottles and food with them, then they can just as easily carry out the rubbish. Surely each of us has a responsibility for disposing of our rubbish in a proper manner, especially on the Camino.

Liv Marit

I absolutely agree with Trudy.

There is NO excuse for throwing away rubbish along the way, or at the top on alredy full - and "leaking" - rubbish containers. :evil:

Everybody must be responsible for their own rubbish. The world will never be a better place to live as long as people throw rubbish around them without caring for the environment.

And, the few places of shade on the mesteta do NOT need toilet-paper to be a cosy place to rest !



I of course too agree fully with Trudy and Liv, thank you both very much for acknowledging and further emphasising the problem, cleanliness certainly begins with us pilgrims first, and there cannot be any excuse for littering anywhere anytime, and least of all impossible places on the Camino itself. Incomprehensible and inexcusable. :evil:

However, also the spanish communities have an obligation towards the Camino. And with the numbers of pilgrims rising sharply, also their own obligations increase. They neglect that, and down again it will go.


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