Clean Tahoe Continues Critical Cleanup Services

The Clean Tahoe Program wrapped up its fiscal year at the end of September and is reporting another year of hard work resulting in a more beautiful, clean South Tahoe.

The Program’s field crew picked up an astonishing 560 cubic yards of litter and debris from the City of South Lake Tahoe and El Dorado County. In addition, we collected data on a number of our field services, including:

  • Illegal dump incidents
    • In FY 2015/16, we cleaned 191 illegal dumps.  Unfortunately, the number of incidents in both the City and County increased slightly from last year.
  • Animal-in-trash messes
    • We cleaned a total of 436 incidents where animals (usually bears, but also raccoons, coyotes, or dogs) had accessed trash and spread it around. 377 of them were in the City of South Lake Tahoe and 59 were in El Dorado County. Although the number for the City is higher, one piece of good news is that the total number in the City decreased by 20% from last year, possibly due to increased involvement of City Code Enforcement.
  • The number of properties where we saw repeated animal-in-trash messes
    • Of the 436 animal-in-trash messes we cleaned, 138 were at properties where we had already responded to the same problem. El Dorado County has a lower percentage of repeat problems than the City, possibly because of its ordinance that mandates installation of a bear bin after two offenses in 24 months.
  • Numbers of certain bulk items that we’ve picked up and transported to STR (includes illegal dumps as well as items left at curbside and billed to customer). In total we collected:
                – 94 mattresses
    – 181 pieces of furniture
    – 107 TVs/computer monitors
    – 37 appliances

In addition to providing cleanup services, Clean Tahoe strives to prevent litter problems from happening in the first place.  We issue educational notices to properties that have violated City or County trash and litter ordinances, we spearheaded a “Be Bear Aware” outreach campaign, and we organize a number of volunteer cleanup events throughout the year as well as the Annual Community Cleanup Day (aka $5 Dump Day).  We are hopeful that next year’s statistics will be an improvement, and that more and more residents and visitors to South Tahoe will contain their trash in a more responsible way.

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