MOOP the Lake collects over 200 pounds of trash |

MOOP the Lake collects over 200 pounds of trash

Cheyanne Neuffer

MOOP The Lake held a cleanup on several different beaches around Lake Tahoe on Sept 8-10.

Even with Forest Service closures at many of the planned cleanup locations, Tahoe Burners cleaned up 21 different locations around Truckee and Tahoe. Groups who regularly pick up litter also joined the ‘Moopers.’

Crews were dressed in fun, festive Burning Man attire as they swept through the different locations. Over 50 Tahoe Burners and others volunteers spent three consecutive days picking up trash. Crews collected over 235 pounds in that span.

“Burners are the kind of people who will dance in a whiteout dust storm, so unsurprisingly, they were dancing and joking while picking diapers out of the bushes with their trash grabbers too,” said Cyan Samone.

Samone and Margie Reynolds organized the event after seeing post after post of the trash problem in the Tahoe / Truckee area. Samone and Reynolds who have worked at Burning Man decided to round up the local community to help the problem.

“At our best attended cleanup in Sand Harbor, our lead Vice Admiral Morgan did a great job making friendly competition, weighing bags at the end with everyone rallied around and cheering each other on and handing out prizes.”

Samone and Reynolds organized MOOP the Lake in about a month. The organizers posted and shared the event through social media. While they were happy with the turnout, they had several people interested in helping after the event had passed.

“It felt really good to flex my event organizer muscles on something good to help my new community. It was also really fun to meet new people and make new friends through the cleanup,” said Samone.

MOOP the Lake plans to hold another 3-day cleanup the week after Labor Day next year and hopefully more cleanups in the near future.

“Considering the uncertainty of site closures, wildfire threats, looming smoke and the pandemic, the turnout was amazing and we are really proud of what everyone accomplished,” she said.

MOOP is a term derived from the Burning Man event that stands for Matter Out Of Place. Burning Man is one of the largest “Leave no Trace” events even with roughly 80,000 attendees a year and ‘MOOP’ing is one of the key principles that gives Burning Man that title. Burning Man has numerous teams that stay after the event and clean up any trace of matter out of place on the playa.

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