If, like me, it’s been a long time since you’ve had the chance to venture out to Saguaro National Park East, you may not have seen the park’s new water-bottle filler.

Apparently it was installed in March, yeah it’s been that long since I’ve been there, as a way to to reduce the park’s ecological footprint.

According to post on the park’s page officials decided to stop selling bottled water and soda through vending machines, choosing instead to sell reusable water bottles for $2 and installing the filling stations.

Here’s a snippet from the park:

Saguaro National Park joined a growing number of parks and universities no longer using vending machines to sell disposable bottled water or soda on site. According to the EPA, over 1,125,000,000 pints of bottled water were sold in the United States in 2011. The EPA estimates that less than 15% of those plastic water bottles are recycled; the rest go into landfills or are discarded as litter.

While disposable bottles are no longer available, new water bottle fillers and a variety of reusable water bottles are available at both visitor centers.

Saguaro National Park has long been committed to recycling plastic and aluminum, saving 61,500 pounds of recyclable waste from landfills in 2010 alone. However, transporting disposable bottles to be recycled also costs money, time and gasoline. The park could eliminate up to 40% of what is currently recycled; about 15% of the park’s total waste stream. Saguaro conducted a thorough analysis of the potential impacts of eliminating the sale of disposable bottled water and soda, and determined that the more sustainable solution is to provide new water bottle filling stations for visitors to refill their own reusable containers.

In addition to installing the filling stations at the visitor center, officials installed one at Saguaro Park East’s bicycle ramada as well.

According to Analysis performed by park officials, the four vending machines sold about $10,000 worth of drinks. Of that $4 thousand went to the park.

They found that eliminating the machines would reduce the amount of recycling they had to pay to remove from the park by 40 percent.

2 thoughts on “New(ish) bottle filling station at Saguaro East”
  1. It’s hard to remember precisely when the last ‘coke’ bottle was redeemed and the soda pop industry shoved the recycling business onto the consumer who, I guess, hasn’t been that good at it as I would have thought the percentage of recycled containers would be higher. The population was sold the idea that the precious resource-aluminum- was the ideal single-use drink container in a stroke of marketing genius. That evolved to plastic and now here we are one-eight of the way through the 21st century realizing how much money, time and gasoline is involved in recycling….exactly what the soda pop industry figured out back sometime in the 70’s.
    What a hoot.

  2. what quality of water does this filling station dispense? The only upside of bottled water is that it can allow you to purchase water that has the mineral count reduced and the chlorine eliminated. But then again you will be exposing yourself to bisphenols if you do buy bottled water. ZZ, don’t you mean devolved to plastic? Actually it was thinner and thinner aluminium then plastic. How do little kids make any money now that deposit bottles are gone? That and pay phones.

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