Who said dumpsters can’t be pretty? | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Who said dumpsters can’t be pretty?

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Dan Thrift/Tahoe Daily TribuneClean Tahoe Program Manager Stan Burton shows off the new dumpster behind the El Dorado County Center.

It looks sleek like a Cadillac but smells like garbage.

Its ugly forklift handles are tucked inside and this dumpster gleams with a theme of clean.

New dumpsters have arrived in town, ones meant to be appealing and not detract from the beauty of the area. The gray and brown steel receptacles are probably the first group of dumpsters in the country designed to blend with their surroundings.

A normal dumpster costs about $600 — these cost $1,300. Clean Tahoe had a manufacturer build eight of the dumpsters after South Tahoe Refuse helped build a prototype. They are made of steel and painted gray, their exteriors shielded with panels of recycled wood and plastic.

“They’re good looking,” said Stan Burton, program manager at Clean Tahoe. “They can be sitting in an unattractive area and enhance the area.”

The dumpsters, mounted on pavement not wheels, can’t be moved unless a refuse truck hooks it with its forklift. A mattress can’t be stuffed in it because it has two chutes, not just one large enough to fit garbage illegal for dumpsters such as a mattress or a television. And the heavy, latched steel lids keep animals out.

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Welders at South Tahoe Refuse burned 124 hours of labor to make the prototype that was crafted in October 2001. It was finished and placed next to the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce in January 2002.

Feedback from the community was positive, so five dumpsters were ordered by Clean Tahoe, a nonprofit refuse business funded by the city and El Dorado County. El Dorado also tapped a pool of state money, produced from the recycling of cans and bottles, to buy three more dumpsters.

“It’s certainly our goal to improve scenic quality,” said Ginger Huber, Tahoe division environmental manager for the county. “I hope anybody who drives through Tahoe looks closely at these and takes the idea back to their communities.”

Ron Rumble, owner of Rainbow Mountain on Ski Run Boulevard, is a former board member of Clean Tahoe. Rumble came up with the concept of a designer dumpster, Burton said. To learn how to order one, contact Clean Tahoe at (530) 544-4210.

— Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at gcrofton@tahoedailytribune.com