Porky The Litter Eater – Bethesda, Maryland - Atlas Obscura

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Porky The Litter Eater

This propitious plastic porcine has been petitioning park visitors to pick up after themselves for more than 50 years. 


Cabin John Regional Park is a peaceful picnic spot in Montgomery County that features one very unusual resident: an environmentally-conscious talking pig.

Porky The Litter Eater has been entreating visitors to fill his chatty maw with refuse since the park opened in 1966. The push of a button located near his smiling face on the shack in which he resides is all the prodding he needs to start his pitch. After a couple of snorts and grunts, the low voice of one-time park caretaker Ted Gurney issues the following cheery message: “Hi, kids, I’m Porky the Litter Eater, and I sure like to eat. You can feed me paper, and cardboard, and soft drink cans, but never, never feed me bottles or broken glass. Glass gives me a stomach ache.”

The pig with the vacuum-powered mouth was the brainchild of associate director of parks, Frank Rubini. He was inspired by the idea that a fun and interactive waste disposal system might prompt kids to pick up after themselves and plant the seeds for a more environmentally conscious future.

Porky wasn’t the first talking trash receptacle in Montgomery County. That honor was held by Billy the Litter Goat, who made his debut at nearby Wheaton Regional Park in 1965—but Porky is the only one that remains.

Know Before You Go

Porky's brick house sits just past the miniature train station within Cabin John Park.

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December 21, 2021

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