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Litter mitigation on tap at Truckee Town Council

Litter mitigation was among the topics presented at Tuesday’s Truckee Town Council meeting, continuing an ongoing discussion among the community on the matter.

While the town hasn’t addressed the litter issue explicitly in a line item, Truckee Administrative Analyst II and member of the Keep Truckee Green Staff Erica Mertens outlined the number of ways the issue of litter is being addressed by different groups within Truckee.

Efforts are being made to mitigate litter throughout Truckee’s departments, including public works, solid waste and recycling, and engineering and economic development.

The town’s facilities division maintains all Truckee owned and operated properties, regularly picking up trash while tending to landscaping, building maintenance, and trail maintenance. The staff also regularly maintains and refills pet waste bag dispensers along with the more than 10 trash cans on the Legacy Trail.

Truckee Police will issue citations to anyone caught littering, but enforcement of the issue is complaint driven.

Moving forward, Keep Truckee Green staff are currently conduction a study on which areas of town receive are littered with the most cigarette butts in order to place 12 more cigarette butt canisters throughout town. The canisters, which are provided by Take Care Tahoe, should be in place by winter. Locations will likely be focused on Commercial Row, the Depot Parking lot, and Jibboom Street. According to data from the volunteer group Truckee Litter Corps, cigarette butts were the top item found around the Donner Lake neighborhood during an Aug. 1 cleanup.

Additionally, Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal, which according to town staff is maxed out in terms of frequency for pickups, should receive some help as trash cans with solar-powered compactors are planned to be in place on Commercial Row and Brickeltown next summer. The cans, which provide three times the capacity of a normal trash can, are already in place in the Railyard area as part of a pilot project.

The town also relies on cleanup with events throughout the year like its annual Truckee Day cleanup, which attracted a record of more than 1,000 volunteers during the June event.

Additional information on what the town is doing to mitigate litter can be found at a new web page launched Tuesday. The page can be accessed via the Truckee Litter Efforts tab on http://www.townoftruckee.com.

slower summer for parks and rec

While many locals have complained about excessive litter being left behind this summer, Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District General Manager Steve Randall said it hasn’t been a major problem for his team.

“We’re not experiencing many issues this year as a result of COVID,” Randall said during Tuesday’s meeting, stating that the lack of special events, concerts, and sports activities has resulted in less litter being left behind than in years past.

One issue, however, has been at Donner Lake where the area’s 37 public piers have often had little vacancy.

Currently, there aren’t trash cans located at the piers, something Randall said had been tried in past years.

“We did it years and years ago,” added Randall. “And what we learned from that was once the trash cans get filled, then they just put it on the side and everything blows into the water.”

nearly $12K raiseD

Recently Clean Up the Lake’s team of divers pulled several thousand pounds of trash from Donner. The team plans to head to the south side of the lake next week for another round of cleaning the lake floor.

A pair of Truckee local girls have also gotten involved in lake stewardship. Through a Go Fund Me campaign and with help of Clean Up the Lake, Ella and Olivia Hoyer motivated nearly 140 people to donate nearly $12,000 for the installation 37 plaques that will call on visitors to take responsibility for their own trash. Design and messaging will be coordinated by 12-year-old Ella Hoyer. To donate more to the campaign, visit http://www.charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/donnerlake.

Enforcement action

Truckee Police will issue citations to anyone caught littering, but enforcement of the issue is complaint driven.

Improper waste disposal or storage can be reported by emailing Recycle@townofTruckee.com, preferably with attached photo and address.

Additionally, graffiti found in the town can be reported by visiting http://www.townoftruckee.com.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2643.


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