Resident embrace dump day with 600 loads
And suddenly there came forth a cry through the land, “It’s Dump Day, my friends, gather up what you can!
“Bundle it, load it, and fill up your trucks! Then empty them here, why, it’s only five bucks!”
So onward they came with their bathtubs and wires, their mattresses, light fixtures, heaters and tires. They raced to the center with overstuffed trucks, lining up down the street like a family of ducks.
Snowmobiles, car bumpers, concrete and clippings; flamfloozlers and whoohickeys, fleefluffs and quippings.
When four o’clock came and the workers could rest, officials declared the event a success.
“Cleaning up Tahoe gives reason to cheer! So thanks for your junk, and we’ll see you next year!”
The scene at the South Tahoe Refuse Center on Saturday appeared to be straight out of Dr. Seuss, as people drove in with all manner of items – half of which could not even be identified.
But the center was happy to get the stuff. It was all part of the Clean Tahoe Program’s annual Spring Cleanup, and it was a record success.
“This is our fourth load today,” said Trish Hall, who drove in a truckload of wood and other refuse with the help of her children, Steven Grant, 12, and Karen Grant, 14.
“We did some remodeling earlier this year, but we saved the debris so we could bring it here,” Hall said. “It’s a great service they provide. We wait all year for this.”
By 3 p.m. Saturday, the Spring Cleanup was on its way to a record-breaking performance, with 500 loads of debris already through the gates, and about 100 more anticipated in the final hour. El Dorado County residents could drop off a load of junk for $5 … a bargain any way you look at it.
Trucks, vans and cars with trailers were lined up for about a half mile, down Ruth Street, onto Dunlap and around to Eloise.
“I’ve seen some interesting stuff,” said Otto Bielawski, a community services officer with the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, who was directing traffic outside the center.
“I saw a kayak, and one guy had a hot tub,” he said. “I also spotted a brand new Tiffany lamp. I was going to go ask the guy if I could have it, but just then I got a call on my radio. Meanwhile some other guy jumped out of his car and got the lamp.”
There appeared to be few similar treasures on hand, however.
“We get an unbelievable amount of mattresses,” said Clean Tahoe program assistant Sandy Belstler. “Also refrigerators, bird cages; a lot of appliances.
“I think that Cleanup Day makes a very big impact,” she said. “These are things that would end up out in the fields or in the middle of the street. It’s amazing where people will dump things.”
But it’s also amazing, says Belstler, how people will cooperate with the Clean Tahoe Program.
“We’re very appreciative that people took the time to come out here,” she said.
“Mother Nature is cooperating; we had snow last year,” said Clean Tahoe president Jeff Bursha. “Moving the event from May to June helped people to get better organized, I think.”
Bursha noted that Clean Tahoe is on hand all year to help and advise people about cleanup and recycling.
“We’re willing to go above and beyond to help anyone clean up Tahoe,” he said. “All you have to do is contact us.”
Clean Tahoe can be reached at (530) 544-4210.
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