Truckee forges ahead with sustainability efforts | SierraSun.com

Truckee forges ahead with sustainability efforts

Hannah Jones
hjones@sierrasun.com

Truckee has continued to work on reducing emissions with new sustainability programs taking shape throughout the town.

Early next year the town will be rolling out a new community dashboard to track their sustainability progress.

“As a community member you can go through and see exactly what out targets are,” said Nick Martin, special projects and sustainability manager for Truckee.

In September Truckee announced it had received a Silver Beacon Award from the Institute for Local Government for efforts made toward sustainability. The past four years the town has received a best practice spotlight award. This was Truckee’s first full Beacon Award.

“It’s important to take a look at what we’re doing,” said Martin. “This is another avenue in addition to the dashboard that allows us to track our progress.”

The town is currently developing a Climate Action Plan that will be included in the General Plan.

“We’ll be reducing our emissions as aggressively as possible,” said Martin. “Establishing plans and developing a framework that is pro-sustainability and allow for good work to happen throughout the community is the biggest way to have influence over this.”

In early September Truckee also launched a new litter abatement initiative called the Truckee Litter Corps. The program consists of volunteer citizens who meet on the first Saturday of each month to help remove litter from roadways, trails, and public gathering places.

460 tons of green waste

Last year the town began a new recycling program that allowed residents to use green carts to collect yard waste instead of plastic bags. Since then over 9,000 green carts have been delivered, saving an estimated 50,000 green bags, according to Erica Mertens, recycling manager for Truckee. Last summer they collected 460 tons of green waste, over double what they used to collect with green waste bags.

The program also offers blue recycling carts to increase the amount of materials that can be recycled. Mertens said they’ve had a 70% participation rate with the blue carts.

Despite the recycling efforts by the town Mertens said residents should focus more on reducing their waste.

“What we need to do is think about how we can generate less waste to begin with. We simply cannot rely on recycling to solve our problems,” she said.

On Tuesday the town will be hosting a Fix It clinic at the Truckee Roundhouse, 12116 Chandelle Way, Suite E3.

“This is an event where you can bring your broken items and learn how to fix them,” said Mertens. “This is a really great way to empower people to fix their items instead of throwing them away.”

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or hjones@sierrasun.com.