Clean Tahoe receives grant
Thanks to a grant from the California Department of Conservation, South Shore residents will find it easier to recycle cans and bottles and throw trash away – as well as wait for a bus in comfort.
Clean Tahoe, the nonprofit agency that strives for a cleaner Lake Tahoe by promoting recycling and anti-litter campaigns, has received a $94,000 grant from the department’s recycling division. It was the second straight year the South Shore program was awarded a grant by the state agency.
“We are very excited about it,” said Sharon Barker, Clean Tahoe’s executive director. “This is one of the most competitive grants in the state. We are on target with the state’s goals and objectives.”
Statewide, 116 private and public agencies applied for more than $10 million in recycling and litter-reduction grants. Clean Tahoe was one of 34 private and public agencies statewide to receive a slice of the $2.2 million in funds.
Barker said the grant will be spent in a number of ways, including the purchase of trash and recycling cans, as well as bus benches that are made from recycled plastic. Clean Tahoe will purchase 45 pairs of trash-and-recycling bins, which will be placed along U.S. Highway 50, and at least 25 bus benches for bus stops where waiting passengers now must stand.
The bins and benches are constructed with plastic recycled from milk bottles, laundry detergent packages and soda pop bottles.
“We ask [everyone] … to make the effort to walk an extra foot or two to a garbage can to throw away your trash,” Barker said. “Please don’t drop it on the ground. That is why we are purchasing additional containers … we are trying to place our containers in the most highly trafficked areas.”
The grant will also allow Clean Tahoe to hire two more AmeriCorps employees, and possibly a full-time driver for its recycling program. That would double the agency’s staff of Americorps employees, who clean vacant lots and maintain roadways.
Founded in 1994, Clean Tahoe oversees a year-round program to keep the Tahoe Basin litter-free. On May 17, the agency will supervise the Community Dump Day in South Tahoe, when residents can dump loads of unwanted goods and rubbish for $5.
It also coordinates the annual Coastal Clean-up at Lake Tahoe, as well as the community clean-up the day after the Fourth of July.
Among its other activities, Clean Tahoe coordinates a volunteer program to maintain vacant lots in the area, appealing to volunteers to adopt vacant parcels in their neighborhood.
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