Tricks To Trashcans

Prevent Litter
Orange County Stormwater Program


The Orange County Stormwater Program’s (H2OC) MS4 permit requires them to reduce trash in their creeks, rivers, and the ocean. Through our research, we identified littering in the community as a key source of trash pollution, and targeting skateparks as well as young people could make a significant impact. Action Research strove to create a behavior change campaign to encourage youth at skateparks to protect Orange County’s waterways by keeping their park free of trash.


In tandem with H2OC, we launched the Tricks to Trashcans outreach campaign to prevent littering at skateparks. This community-based social marketing (CBSM) program highlighted the values and self-perceptions of the audience and included strategic reminders to throw away trash. To deliver the program, we set up an event booth at a local skatepark and asked skaters to commit to placing trash in closed bins. Our staff also had direct conversations and handed out finger skateboards as well as stickers with campaign messaging highlighting their personal commitment.


By showcasing materials that resonated with skaters, talking to young people in person, and highlighting social norms and personal commitments, litter accumulation decreased by 57%. Because of the program’s success, Tricks to Trashcans was awarded the 2022 CASQA Award for Outstanding Public Outreach/Engagement Program! Additionally, we now regularly host Tricks to Trashcans events at skateparks across Orange County to promote non-littering behaviors. Orange County’s skaters continue to do a terrific job keeping trash out of OC’s creeks, rivers, and ocean!