IVGID, community members create trash pick-up program

Miranda Jacobson /
Both Carolyn Usinger and Ben Dosseff are a part of the Keep Tahoe Blue Crew that works around the basin to keep Tahoe clean.
Miranda Jacobson/Tahoe Daily Tribune

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The local general improvement district through a new program is working with local residents to create opportunities to pick up trash and help keep the North Shore clean.

The program, “Be a Hero and Clean up Tahoe,” was created by District Communications Coordinator Kari Ferguson along with community members Carolyn Usinger and Ben Dosseff. 

“They are two people that tirelessly clean our community and pick up trash along the roadways everywhere,” Ferguson said. “They’ve worked really hard. She does have people ask her how they can get involved. People want to give back.” 

The program allows anyone to go to the recreation center to pick up materials like trash pickers, bags, and rubber gloves to clean up wherever they’d like in the area. When finished, the materials can be returned to the center for others to use.

The program allows people to give back to their community whenever they have availability. 

“It’s hard to have an event for people to give back,” Ferguson said. “Sometimes they have scheduling conflicts or kids have sports, so it’s nice to be able to do it on your own time … So we’re hoping that this will get more people out there and help keep the community cleaner.” 

Anyone may participate in the program, resident or not, but some places in Incline Village do require passes such as Incline or Ski beaches. 

“But anyone can come into the rec center and grab the supplies,” Ferguson said. 

Usinger’s family has been living in the Tahoe Basin since the early 1970’s and began to notice a serious problem with trash in the basin in September 2019 when she moved back to Incline Village. Since then, she has been working hard to clean up the place that she has always known as home. As a part of the Keep Tahoe Blue and their Blue Crews, Usinger knows that the task is monumental. 

“It’s way, way, way, too big for [just] volunteers,” said Usinger prior to the creation of the program. “The first solution is everybody needs to pick up trash when they see it because it’s impossible for paid staff to find it all.” 

Carolyn Usinger normally takes trash to the dump in her car, and after many asked her how they could help, she began working with IVGID to create a better way for everyone to pick up trash.
Miranda Jacobson/Tahoe Daily Tribune

The program doesn’t have a set end date, and Ferguson is hoping that it will be a program that becomes a permanent fixture through the recreation center. 

“[Usinger] called me and wanted to make sure this can happen, so we’re making it happen,” Ferguson said. “That’s what we do. We’re hoping to engage the community this way to get out there and help clean, getting more hands on deck if you will.” 

For more information, contact the recreation center at 775-832-1300 or email

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