MOOP MAP 2014: Roadside Poop & HexaMoop



~ Leaving No Trace ~
The Burning Man community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

When an unexpectedly vicious Monday rainstorm shut down all access to Burning Man this year, the flow of traffic into Black Rock City came to a complete standstill. For a day and a night, the highways transformed into parking lots, then into campgrounds.

If you were one of the thousands stuck out there, your entire community salutes you. Sansa Asylum, manager of the DPW Highway Cleanup crew, salutes you too: This year, even with the delays, the roadsides were cleaner than ever before.

Sansa Asylum at work.
Sansa Asylum at work.

“People are gaining awareness, and that’s making it better,” Sansa told me. “People we talked to in the local towns agreed that the trash wasn’t as bad this year. We even talked to the local judge in Wadsworth, and he had nothing but good things to say.”

Sansa is a circus musician based in the Bay Area. For one week a year, however, she and a crew of twelve take on the dirty job of cleaning up the roadsides from Burning Man to Wadsworth, to Pyramid Lake, to Cedarville. Most of the Highway Cleanup crew are volunteers. These are not state employees; they don’t pull a paycheck from the Nevada DOT. They are artists and musicians; a seamstress; an event production coordinator; a rent board commissioner; members of other DPW crews, and people who pick up this task because they care about doing it right.

Photo by Ninjalina.
Photo by Ninjalina.

“We’re looking for patterns,” Sansa says. “We want to strategize how to have the highway not get trashed.” Education is a big factor in the recent improvement — now that the Burning Man community is learning to tie down our trash bags, there are far fewer “blowouts” of trash strewn throughout the sagebrush. But this year brought new trends.

The first big trend for 2014: bags of poop. That’s human feces, in bags, undoubtedly left behind by the people who were forced to camp along the embankments. Solution: don’t do that. As gross as it is, save your poop in a sealed container, and dump it in a potty when you reach one. If you moop your poop, somebody else will have to touch it. Ick.

The second, more surprising 2014 trend: hexayurts. Large numbers of broken hexayurt panels wound up littering the highway, scattering little bits of styrofoam through the sage. Solution: Strap your hexayurt panels more carefully, so they won’t bend and break when you hit highway speeds.

“Wrap your yurts! They fly away, and once it hits the sagebrush, it’s over,” says Ninjalina, Highway Cleanup Assistant Manager. The prickly branches catch bits of foam and wood as they blow past in the wind, creating an extended trail of littered brush.

Burning Man 2014 Highway Cleanup
Highway Cleanup crew, rockin’ the reflective vests.

“My truck alone picked up 64 contractor bags of trash, 30 tires, 20 yurt panels and a bunch of miscellaneous stuff,” Ninjalina says.

Over the four-day period of heaviest work, there are three trucks running 180 miles of highway. In total, the crew gathered 24 pickup beds’ worth of roadside detritus.

Highway Cleanup began out of respect for local communities, who were tired of their environment being littered with Burner detritus. But once the highways empty of Burning Man traffic, this desert landscape is still full with more than just human life. On one of the last days of Highway Cleanup this year, Ninjalina and crew found their vehicles engulfed by a commuting herd of cows:

Moop Map, Day 1 results

And now with no further ado, the results you’ve been waiting for. It is my great pleasure to share with you the very first peek at the Black Rock City Moop Map for 2014.

Click to enlarge!
Click to enlarge!

Moop Map Legend

GREEN: Low Impact to No Impact Trace. The moop line moves at a normal walking pace, picking up very little.

YELLOW: Moderate Impact Trace. The line must slow down in order to pick up all the moop here.

RED: High Impact Trace. The line must stop to clean up hotspots or very moopy areas.

Great job so far, Black Rock City! This is the kind of start we love to see. Lots of green, green, green blocks. The DPW Playa Restoration crew thanks you for mooping your camps, making it easy for us to support your efforts and ensure the city is moop-free in time for the upcoming BLM inspection. Your dedication to Leaving No Trace is what makes it possible for Burning Man to keep coming back to the playa, year after moop-free year!

We’re not posting details of what was found in each spot. If you are a theme camp, your Placement representative may have more detailed information for you in a few months (when the entire Moop Map is finalized). Please be patient: we have much more work to do before we can pass detailed information along.

Stay tuned for more, as the moop line marches through the streets of BRC. We’ll keep posting the results just as quickly as we can compile them.

Want more photos & goodies from the Playa Restoration team? Search #BM2014. You can also follow The Hun: FacebookTwitterInstagram.

About the author: The Hun

The Hun

The Hun, also known as J.H. Fearless, has been blogging for Burning Man (and many other outlets) since 2005, which is also the year she joined the BRC DPW on a whim that turned out to be a ten-year commitment. Since then she's won some awards for blogging, built her own creative business, and produced some of the Burning Blog's most popular stories and series. She co-created a grant-funded art piece, "Refoliation," in 2007, and stood next to it watching the Man burn on Monday night during a full lunar eclipse. She considers that, in many ways, to have been the symbolic end of Burning Man that was. The Hun lives in Reno with DPW Shade King, Quiet Earp. You may address her as "The Hun" or "Hun". If you call her "Honey" she reserves the right to cut you.

21 Comments on “MOOP MAP 2014: Roadside Poop & HexaMoop

  • Skyzer says:

    Secure your load or the cows are gonna get you!

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  • Ninjalina says:

    the Hun! Great article! I’m happy to answer more questions about securing your load when leaving Black Rock City.
    Good job, resto!

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  • Rio says:

    Definitely less crap on the highway this year than last. Maybe it was because Exodus was so smooth (left Monday at 11a.m. and NO waiting)and the highway speeds so great that the moopholes didn’t have a chance to eject their effluent?

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  • TMTAC says:

    Hey Hun!
    While raking dunes this year, I discovered that by raking one direction, and then raking a second pass at 90 degrees to the first one, the second pass seemed to turn up a bit more stuff than the first.
    Might this be a well known ‘Duh’ that no one ever told me about?

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  • Captain says:

    Although I was unable to attend the burn this year, I am following the Moop Map… Out of curiosity, what are the Red “X” markings on the map. I do not recall them being on last years map.

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  • simon of the playa says:

    can i just mention how much of a Badass Ninjalina is?

    because she is…

    heartfelt thank you to all of the crews.

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  • barbender says:

    The yurt problem is easy to fix.Put a sheet of plywood on top and bottom. That makes a strong sandwich that won’t come apart. I also use a 4×8 trailer to pull it behind my car. It’s been to the playa three times with no damage. The panels really love to catch the wind, so folks need to be sure to tie them down firmly.

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  • David says:

    Why not dig a hole and poop in that instead of a bag

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  • Ninjalina says:

    Thanks @simon of the playa!

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  • Ninjalina says:


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  • Lika says:

    I don’t really see the problem with mooping. If I moop, DPW will clean it up. Worst case scenario is I won’t get a green dot on the map. So what?

    If DPW peeps decide they don’t want to clean up anymore, then BMorg will hire people to do it anyway = clean playa. Problem solved.

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  • G says:

    @ Lika
    That viewpoint put into practice will be another step toward Disneylandification of Burning Man. The elements of self reliance and responsibility are essential contributors to the vibe and culture of the event.
    Can I conclude from what you say that you are willing to pay (your ticket $$$) to have someone else clean up behind you?
    I work in the ski industry. By and large, the higher income/more money someone spends at my resort, the more child like they are to deal with. Do you want to populate BRC with a bunch of irresponsible lazy people?

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  • Lika says:

    @ G

    >Do you want to populate BRC with a bunch of irresponsible lazy people?

    BRC is a location populated by people, creating an event. To be a participant of that event does not make anyone special. It just means these people put an amount of effort into being there. By asking what is ‘irresponsible’ or ‘responsible’ behavior is approaching the question of what is moral and/or ethical behavior?

    Is it moral for a company to profit from free labor? All the volunteers are consenting adults, so yes – it’s moral. Is it ethical, no. I’m a film producer and I have applications that come in all the time from people willing and enthusiastic to work for me for free. I can easily take advantage of that willingness and profit from it. But I refuse to have anyone on my set who is not getting paid and is not getting well fed. That is professional ethics, and that’s the difference between what is moral and what is ethical.

    BMorg takes the other road. Fine. They’re free to do that to people, and it’s not technically against the law… But I’m digressing.

    We have class of people on the playa, DPW (among other groups), who are more than willing to be taken advantage of in exchange for intangible payment. But these intangible payments do not pay the bills, and do not fill a hungry stomach. What these intangible payments do DO is feed the ego. Empty stomach, empty bank account – big ego, sets the community up for abuses by these individuals; a sort of tax on the attendees.

    These taxes/abuses can be eliminated by paying these workers the wages they deserve. Every dollar saved by BMorg in not paying these workers what they deserve, every meal not served to them – is money in the bank to the company. And further leads to the insults, thefts and threats and violent attacks by these underpaid workers on the general population. BMorg would call this the ‘culture’ of Burning Man, and part of the tradition of it all.

    How much moop is intentionally left for DPW to clean up as an ‘asshole tax’? A lot of it. I know of specific examples of couches and other large items left behind after DPW came through and cleaned a camp out of their alcohol. Much of the moop left behind is simply irresponsible, much of it is blow-back asshole-tax.

    BRC doesn’t need these volunteers – BRC needs professionals at all levels, and it seems there are non at all levels. Until the professionals arrive, we are still going to hear reports of DPW pulling knives on citizens and BRC Rangers participating in camp raids.

    Disneyland is looking better all the time.

    One must

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  • Willow S says:

    This map always makes me a little nervous… I’m always waiting to see if I managed to get my camp area super green (because I try! I TRY!) *bites nails while waiting for next map*

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  • G says:

    Fascinating reply.Thanks. I was blindsided by the indictment of DPW you present. I have not experienced such behavior from DPW. I have witnessed some arrogant, condescending, and surly behavior on the part some DPW individuals, but your descriptions are a whole different dimension I have never heard of before. DPW totally busts ass, and they deserve respect and thanks for that.

    My takeaway on your initial (7:21 am) comment is, are you saying that BRC residents should not pickup after themselves and instead rely on the Org to do so for them?

    Thanks Hun & crew !

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  • Crash says:

    As far as the yurts, I have been doing this since I first started using one years ago. Get two 4×8 thin plywood pieces to place on either side of the stack, wrap your ground tarp around the bundle, and then use the ratchet straps that you use to secure the rope halo to the ground rebar to tie the whole thing together. If you do this as a crosshatch, you can even use the straps at the ends almost as handles to help with the awkward lifting process. This whole thing ensures that your yurt does not get damaged and nothing flies away ;) You can also place the plywood pieces on the outside of the ground tarp so as to protect the tarp from tears.

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  • Remi says:

    Look at that…. the big plug n play camp by 230 I got a big red mark. Who would have thought plug n players wouldn’t take their time to clean up after the party. Oh well.. Burning Man makes enough money off them that we can all bet we will see them again next year with another great camp spot.

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  • MissAnne says:

    Stupid conversation of the year, in Exodus
    My friend and I were waiting in line, when we noticed that the white Jeep Wrangle behind us had a small bag of garbage just sitting on the roof. Because I was driving, I asked my friend to go point it out to them, since it was obvious they had simply forgotten about it. This is how she said the conversation went:
    My Friend: *grabs bag off the roof of their car, holds it out for them* “Hey, it looks like you forgot about this bag of garbage. Don’t want it to fly off once you get driving, you know!”
    Jeep Guy: “That’s not ours.”
    Friend: *confounded* “Uh, what’s it doing on the top of your car, then?”
    Jeep: “We don’t know. We didn’t put it there.”
    Friend: “Well, put it in your car anyway. Do you want it to just fall off on the side of the fucking road?”
    Jeep: *blinks stupidly*

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  • Enrique says:

    Looks like Plug n Play camps Caravansicle & Lost Hotel @ K don’t know how to pick up after themselves.

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  • Oh, those rat bastards – I don’t know whether to blame bad engineering or human incompetence, but I’m sorry the hexayurt people are leaving a huge waste problem behind them.

    Can you drop me an email hexayurt (at), I’d like to talk about what the Hexayurt Project can do to minimize the moop load next year. Clearly nobody wants their hexayurt to fly to pieces on the roof rack, but that’s a problem that probably goes way up the supply chain – fragile materials, not making a proper sandwich for the roof rack and so on.

    To fix it we might need to get people thinking different from Spring of next year. Drop me a line, let’s figure out what to do! Thank you,

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  • Jessica says:

    What a surprise that the PnP, Google and yuppie camps mooped heavily. Fuck burning scam!

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