Placer County joins regional Clean Tahoe partnership for increased trash service

Published May 26, 2021

Placer County is teaming up on trash in North Lake Tahoe - joining neighboring jurisdictions in the nonprofit Clean Tahoe initiative to increase litter and trash services in the Lake Tahoe Basin. 

“Through observation and community feedback, it became very clear this past year we need all hands on deck to address the trash issue at a regional level,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “While this is one of many programs our county has implemented, the multi-state and jurisdictional collaboration of this program is truly unique.”

When looking to address trash and litter in the region, the county found that other jurisdictions had similar issues, including the Incline Village area of Washoe County, Incline Village General Improvement District, California State Parks, California Tahoe Conservancy, Town of Truckee and Nevada Department of Transportation. These agencies were seeking to implement similar services as Placer County, which resulted in a proposed joint memorandum of understanding commemorating each jurisdiction’s financial commitment to Clean Tahoe.

Clean Tahoe provides several services including litter removal and hauling services, volunteer litter pickup programs and more. It is already operating in South Lake Tahoe, which made the program a natural choice to complement the many efforts happening at a county level. This service also will be in addition to the regular trash services through Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal. 

Placer’s $150,000, 12-month contract with Clean Tahoe will begin June 1. On March 9, as part of the approval of the Tahoe Tourism Business Improvement District, the Board of Supervisors approved the allocation of $1,105,000 in transient occupancy tax funds to implement projects and services recommended by the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. These recommendations included enhanced litter and garbage services starting in the summer of 2021, such as the Clean Tahoe program. 

Overabundance of trash has become an increasing public concern, health hazard and wildlife safety issue. Overflowing trash receptacles have resulted in windblown litter attracting wildlife, including bears, and created unsafe wildlife interactions in the North Tahoe area. Public trash cans and commercial bins have become dropping points for trash from areas without sufficient disposal service, increasing trash concerns in Tahoe.

Trash mitigation challenges in outdoor destinations across the country are on the rise during the pandemic. Placer County has been working on short- and long-term solutions, while coordinating with local agencies and business organizations on a regular basis to discuss strategies and implement solutions. In the past year, Placer County increased trash services, updated the current trash service requirement, added additional trash bins and placed signage to raise awareness on the issue. The county also has a bear box incentive program as well as on-call large item pickup service managed by Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal. 

Residents can learn more about Clean Tahoe here.