Litter Removal & Education
The Clean Tahoe Program has two full-time field crew workers who drive scheduled routes through each neighborhood in the City and County areas of South Tahoe and pick up litter and illegally dumped items. In all, we clean more than 350 lineal miles of public thoroughfares. We also respond to numerous calls each day from citizens in the City and County reporting illegally dumped items and animal-in-trash incidents.
Our local trash and litter ordinances are intended to both keep the community litter-free and to ensure bears, coyotes, raccoons, and other wildlife do not have access to trash. When we see a trash ordinance violation, we clean up any litter or debris in the area and we also issue a Courtesy Notice or Warning, where we inform the property owner about the ordinance and what needs to be done to remedy the situation. Common problems include: evidence of animal access to trash, overflowing dumpsters, improperly secured garbage that has been blown through the neighborhood on a windy day, and furniture or other bulk items left out in view. After issuing a Courtesy Notice, we re-inspect the property in 10 days to ensure the problem has been corrected, and we refer non-compliance and repeat offenders to the appropriate jurisdiction depending on the violation and situation.
In addition to our routine cleanup and education services, Clean Tahoe hosts a number of events throughout the year, including neighborhood spring cleanups, the Great Sierra River Cleanup, and a Community Cleanup Day where residents can bring unwanted items to the Refuse Center at greatly reduced rates.
The Clean Tahoe field crew is also responsible for servicing certain trash and recycle cans throughout the community, and Clean Tahoe was instrumental in pursuing a grant which allowed the City of South Lake Tahoe to install bear-resistant trash and recycle cans at bus stops and other public locations throughout the City.
Over the years, Clean Tahoe has won a number of awards for our service to the community. Most recently, we were awarded the State of California Department of Transportation’s Adopt-a-Highway Volunteer of the Year award in 2012 and the 2013 South Tahoe Chamber of Commerce Blue Ribbon Honorable Mention Award in the small green business category.