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More than 16 tons of trash, weeds removed from river banks
by Tribune Staff
Oct 01, 2013 | 1819 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Contributed photo -- Piles of invasive weeds, as shown, and trash were removed from the Truckee River during the Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful's annual Truckee River Cleanup in September.
Contributed photo -- Piles of invasive weeds, as shown, and trash were removed from the Truckee River during the Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful's annual Truckee River Cleanup in September.
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RENO – Fewer volunteers removed more trash and invasive weeds than in the last four years of Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful's (KTMB) Truckee River Cleanup Day. Five hundred fifty Washoe County residents lined the banks of the Truckee from Verdi to Lockwood, with kayakers and flyfishers in the river, and between them they removed more than 16 tons of trash, recycling and green waste.

In 2012, more than 700 volunteers came out for KTMB's Truckee River Cleanup and 13 tons of waste and weeds were removed. Christi Cakiroglu, KTMB executive director, said the amount of waste collected along the banks by the hundreds of residents shows how much work needs to be done to keep the river looking clean.

"KTMB's Truckee River Cleanup Day is a great reminder to always make sure your trash gets in a trash can or recycling bin," Cakiroglu said. "We have a beautiful river running right through our community that provides our drinking water and a great place to fish, boat or play, but it's up to us to keep it healthy and beautiful." 

A number of this year's cleanup sites included invasive-weed removal; because invasive weeds use more water than the Truckee Meadows' native weeds and are more flammable, they are always a concern in wildfire-prone northern Nevada. KTMB's Truckee River Cleanup Day also included stenciling 502 storm drains this year.

"People don't think much of it when they lose track of a soda bottle or beer can along the river, and they might not realize they are one of hundreds doing the same thing all summer," Cakiroglu said. "When you add fertilizer, car-washing soap, pet waste and other lawn runoff going down the storm drains, our river can get unhealthy really quickly. But through events like this, and the wonderful work of our volunteers, people become aware of how simple, everyday decisions as individuals make a vital contribution to our community's health and economy."

Dozens of local groups and non-profit organizations volunteered for the cleanup, including members of the Reed High School JROTC battalion, members of the Omega Delta Phi fraternity at the University of Nevada, Reno, NV Energy employees and their families, GREENevada. SaveMart volunteers were on hand treating volunteers to a barbecue lunch as they worked in and out of Glendale and Rock parks in Sparks as well as several Reno parks along the Truckee River.

KTMB's Truckee River Cleanup Day was sponsored by the Truckee River Fund, and coordinated in partnership with NV Energy, Waste Management Recycle America, Wells Fargo, YP, the cities of Reno and Sparks, Sun Valley General Improvement District, Washoe County, Washoe County Health District, Allied Nevada Gold, Barrick, IGT, REI, Signature Landscapes, and Whole Foods.

Started in 2004, KTMB's Truckee River Cleanup Day strives to preserve the natural beauty of local recreation areas and remove the dangers to people and wildlife associated with trash, illegal dump sites and invasive weeds, with the help of volunteers. For a map of 2013 cleanup sites, before photos, video and more, visit http://ktmb.org/ktmbs-truckee-river-cleanup-day/.
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