Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, Reno, NV

Record number of invasive weeds, abandoned cars removed; more than 600 residents turn out to clean up Truckee Meadows

More than 600 Washoe County residents came out Saturday to clean up illegal dump sites and invasive weeds at 18 sites during Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful’s Great Community Cleanup. Volunteers removed 74 tons of trash, 33 tons of invasive weeds and almost 600 tires for a cleanup total of 123 tons. Volunteers also removed graffiti, painted and wrapped trees.

“We had perfect weather this year,” said Jaime Souza, program manager of Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB). “Our volunteers pulled and dug a record number of invasive weeds – great news in this dry year.”

Those weeds will be composted for the first time this year, and next week – during International Compost Awareness Week, KTMB staff will be collecting compost and delivering it to schools and other area garden projects. This addition to KTMB’s Great Community Cleanup is made possible by a Keep America Beautiful/Waste Management Think Green grant and a partnership with RT Donovan.

Another record was set this year: The Nevada National Guard removed 18 abandoned cars from the Hunter and Alum creek areas.

“The number of cars just kept increasing,” Souza said. “We started with 15, were up to 17 this morning, and then the helicopter crews found another while they were doing their training. The ground crews did a little scrambling and managed to get the extra one as well. They were so well prepared, and really wanted to do a thorough job. We were so glad to help with the project, and couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”

Here are the stats for KTMB’s Great Community Cleanup. Trash: 74.47 tons; Weeds: 33.4 tons; Cars: 18; Tires: 595

KTMB volunteers are individuals, families and groups from all over the community, including the event sponsor, Intuit, and all the event partners like the Truckee River Fund, Barrick Gold Corporation, NV Energy Foundation, OrangeTree Productions, REI, Truckee Meadows Water Authority, Waste Management, cities of Reno and Sparks, Sun Valley General Improvement District, Washoe County, Washoe County Health District, and the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.

KTMB’s Great Community Cleanup began in 2006 as a part of a community-based effort to preserve the natural beauty of local recreation areas and remove the dangers to people and wildlife associated with illegal dump sites and invasive weeds. For a map of 2015 cleanup sites, before and after photos, video and more, visit ktmb.org/events/ktmbs-great-community-cleanup/.

All KTMB programs are geared toward educating the public about the economic and health hazards of litter and illegal dumping; reducing our waste; eliminating trash from our parks, roadways and open spaces; making our community a beautiful and safe place to live; and giving opportunities for residents and businesses to take pride and ownership in their home. Residents can get involved by visiting ktmb.org.