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South Lake Tahoe Refuse

TitleSouth Lake Tahoe Refuse
Author/CreatorCobourn, John; Purdy, Shelly; Segale, Heather M.
Related item(s)Press Release available at
Date Original2005-04-11
Summary/DescriptionLake Tahoe Report Segment #121 - "South Lake Tahoe Refuse" (Air Date: June 14, 2005). Jeanne Lear from the South Lake Tahoe Refuse Company discusses how South Lake Tahoe manages to recycles 40-percent of the waste generated in the area, despite there not being a curbside recylcing program.
SubjectRecycling (Waste, etc.) -- California -- South Lake Tahoe
Refuse and refuse disposal -- California -- South Lake Tahoe
LocationLake Tahoe (Calif. and Nev.)
Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)
CollectionThe Lake Tahoe Report
Original PublisherLake Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition (
Electronic PublisherUniversity of Nevada, Reno - Department of Teaching and Learning Technologies
Ordering and Permissions InformationFor more information, contact the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, or 775-832-4138.
Date Digital2006-02-15
RelationRequires Windows Media Player
Resource TypeMoving Image
Contributing InstitutionUniversity of Nevada, Reno
TranscriptionSegment A121: South Lake Tahoe Refuse Air Date: 6/14/05 Suggested Tease: There is no curbside recycling in South Lake Tahoe, yet their local refuse company recycles 40-percent of the waste they collect. Shelly Purdy will tell us how they do it in tonight's Lake Tahoe Report. Anchor Intro: We are lucky here in Washoe County to have a curbside recycling program. But despite the fact that it's simple and easy to do, only about 27-percent of the waste generated in Washoe County gets recycled. Compare that to South Lake Tahoe. They recycle 40-percent. In tonight's Lake Tahoe Report, Shelly Purdy tells us how they do it. ((TAKE PKG)) ((nats tractor pushing garbage)) ((track 1)) South Lake Tahoe generates about 100-thousand tons of garbage every year. 40-thousand of it gets recycled, and 60-thousand goes to the landfill. There is no curbside recycling in South Lake Tahoe, so how do they do it?? They sort it and recycle it themselves here at the South Lake Tahoe Refuse Company. ((sot @ 1:48, Jeanne Lear, South Lake Tahoe Refuse Company)) "The materials goes on a conveyor line. The conveyor comes up to a second story and various employees at different stations pull different types of materials." ((track 2)) First the big stuff like cardboard and newspaper is taken out. Then, plastic and aluminum cans are sorted and taken out. Lastly, glass is removed leaving the rest of the garbage to be taken to the landfill. There are several reasons why South Lake Tahoe doesn't have a curbside recycling program. During the wintertime, there is snow to deal with. During the summertime, wildlife can be a problem. And, there are all the hotels and rental properties in the area. Getting tourists to recycle and put their bins out on the curb has proven to be a losing proposition. ((sot @ 4:33)) "Since our waste stream is about 60% commercial and 40% residential and since a great volume of what we get comes from resort properties, we've come up with a plan of bringing it in and sorting it ourselves as opposed to a curbside recycling plan." ((track 3)) And it's a plan that is working. The South Tahoe Refuse Company will expand their facility over the next several years so they can take-in and recycle even more material. Their long-term goal is to recycle 100-percent of what comes in. With the Lake Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition, I'm Shelly Purdy for KOLO News Channel 8. Anchor Tag: Though the workers at South Tahoe Refuse admit sorting other people's garbage is not a glamorous job, they take great pride in the work they're doing. In the seven years the facility has been in operation, they've had a very low turnover rate in their workforce.

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