Lots of litter: Divers remove 5,000 pounds of trash from Lake Tahoe in just 12 miles

Laney Griffo
Divers have collected 2,665 pieces of trash so far in just 12 miles of the scheduled 72-mile cleanup. (Provided by Clean Up the Lake)

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Crews with Clean up the Lake have so far cleaned 12 miles of Tahoe shoreline and have already collected and removed more than 5,000 pounds of trash.

The effort started on May 14 and divers have been covering about a mile a day for three days a week since and plan to clean 72 miles of underwater shoreline around the lake.

According to CUTL founder Colin West, as of Tuesday, June 22, they’ve found 2,665 pieces of trash which weighs 5,104.5 pounds. They’ve found 889 different pieces of plastic, 390 glass bottles, 149 heavy lift items and they’ve identified 13 hot spots. West added that they’ve also found many tires that are degrading.

“In some places, there’s been more trash than we could’ve possibly expected,” West said.

While diving off the shore of Glenbrook, they had two days in a row of pulling more than 600 pounds of trash.

“What will the next 60 days hold? Who knows,” West said.

West added that he’s found himself dreaming of trash on several occasions since the project started but that the goal and work make it worthwhile.

Winds have played a role in where the divers have been able to go and they are currently a few miles short of their daily goals. However, West said they’ve had some longer days and are confident they are still on schedule to finish in November.

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