Massive Trash Cleanup in Truckee and Lake Tahoe, CA

Ryan Flynn |
Lake tahoe trash
2019 Tahoe spring cleanup bounty. Photo: Clean Tahoe

Whilst in the middle of a global pandemic, record numbers of Tahoe locals gathered to help clean up trash from North Lake Tahoe and the town of Truckee. On June 6th, over 120 people registered for the 25th annual North Tahoe Business Association Clean-Up Day. It is estimated that the turnout was the largest ever for the event. Just like all recent events and business operations, this year’s clean up was different.

Due to the coronavirus, organizers changed the structure to help ensure the safety of those volunteering. For starters, volunteers registered online and were asked to bring their own trash bags. To further spread out those involved there were 4 check-in locations and the group was not assigning clean up locations. The areas focused on were Kings Beach, Tahoe Vista, Carnelian Bay, and Crystal Bay. The group gathered over 9,880 pounds of trash in the area.

Trash on Lake Tahoe on July 5th, 2017. image: the league to save Lake Tahoe

With restrictions in place due to safer at home orders, organizers were unable to implement pickup changes this time around. The plan was to bring dumpsters to help allow volunteers to drop off large items from their homes such as appliances. This would alleviate trash from sitting on street corners long after the event.

A second Clean-Up Day for large items has been scheduled for September 26. This is unlike previous years where only one cleanup day was organized. The hope is that restrictions will ease to allow this larger item cleanup to happen, but at the moment it is unclear if it will be possible.

While this year’s cleanup was not like one’s in past years, it was a resounding success. The Tahoe Community showed that even under bad circumstances it has the resilience to come together for each other and their land.

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