By Kathryn Reed
Metal trash cans have one useful purpose – being a safe receptacle for ashes. When it comes to deterring animals, forget about it. The metal absorbs food smells that attract bears, raccoons and dogs.
That was some of the information dispensed by Clean Tahoe personnel in its annual report. The nonprofit’s 2007-08 fiscal year ended Sept. 30.
A new problem was the need to clean up after construction trucks leaving the Angora burn area. Clean Tahoe crews were out on Lake Tahoe Boulevard at least once a week picking up debris.
Assisting with the cleanup are work release crews from El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department. However, the 976 who picked up trash totaled the fewest number of participants in six years.
For 2007-08, Clean Tahoe collected 78 tons of trash in South Lake Tahoe and El Dorado County. Crews responded to 2,969 service calls. This is down from the 3,482 the previous year, but up from the 2,717 calls in 2005-06.
Ellen Nunes, program manager, said Clean Tahoe’s bus stop contract is now with South Tahoe Area Transit Authority instead of Area Transit Management. She said STATA has hired a contractor to handle snow removal.
“It should be smoother this winter,” Nunes told the South Lake Tahoe Basin Waste Management Authority board.
Clean Tahoe has regular routes and set areas, like Linear Park, where crews pick up litter. Personnel also respond to calls of garbage or larger items dumped along roadways.
Fewer appliances were part of the mix this past year. This is attributed to Sierra Pacific Power’s refrigerator buy-back program and No E-Waste free drop-off events.
Clean Tahoe hosts the annual Community Cleanup day in June at South Tahoe Refuse. It also is responsible for coordinating the local Coastal Cleanup day in September.
Clean Tahoe is also part of the recently formed consortium of local entities called Recycle Tahoe.