SOUTH LAKE TAHOE - The Amgen Tour of California is nearing, and officials are preparing for the high visitor turnouts expected - with trash and clean-up a major part of pre-race plans.
Carol Chaplin, executive director for the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority - which is organizing Tahoe's portion of the race along with the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association - said clean-up efforts will require volunteer efforts and help from South Tahoe Refuse, a privately owned waste removal company in South Lake Tahoe.
"They are providing additional receptacles at the start location and additional labor resources for as many pick-ups as required," Chaplin said.
South Tahoe Refuse spokeswoman Jeanne Lear said the company will operate within its boundaries on the South Shore. She doesn't expect trash to be a problem, as the company has experience with special events, including cycling events such as California's Death Ride, a popular tour covering 129 miles and 15,000-plus feet of climbing.
The company anticipates being able to recycle about 50 percent of the waste on the South Shore, Lear said, ranging from bottles to paper waste.
While hundreds of volunteers will be put to work at many venues - especially along the North Shore - Chaplin said she is unsure how many will be specifically needed for trash pick-up.
"We are in the process of talking to several volunteer groups about assisting. We know that the volunteer course marshals will be involved as well," she said.
Despite high crowd expectations, Chaplin said she hopes spectators will adhere to the race's "pack-in, pack-out" campaign, which inspires responsible clean-up from tourists.
Clean-up will occur before, during and after the race, Chaplin said, and current debris left over from winter will be managed by local jurisdictions after contact from tour officials.
Duane Strawser, local organizing committee chair for Nevada City, where the tour began in 2010, said clean-up after the Stage 1 start required many volunteers; however, clean-up along the route shouldn't be as daunting as near the start and finish areas.
"Clean up on that (the Stage 1 start) was about a four-to-five hour job with about 60 volunteers used," she said.
Jessica Van Pernis, a spokeswoman for Northstar-at-Tahoe, the Stage 1 finish, said resort staff is prepared for clean-up at the finish and the Amgen Lifestyle Festival, which takes place there later in the day.
"We have scheduled a highway clean-up following the race - we typically do these anyway throughout the summer season - and will be handling the clean-up with our own staff within the resort," she said.
Stage 1 - May 15: South Lake Tahoe to North Lake Tahoe-Northstar at Tahoe Resort
Stage 2 - May 16: North Lake Tahoe-Squaw Valley USA to Sacramento
Stage 3 - May 17: Auburn to Modesto
Stage 4 - May 18: Livermore to San Jose
Stage 5 - May 19: Seaside to Paso Robles
Stage 6 - May 20: Solvang Individual Time Trial
Stage 7 - May 21: Claremont to Mt. Baldy
Stage 8 - May 22: Santa Clarita to Thousand Oaks
Stage 1 begins in South Lake Tahoe and travels around the lake one and a half times before wrapping up at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort, with the Stage 2 start taking place nearby at Squaw Valley USA and exiting through Truckee to Sacramento. For more information on the race or to access the volunteer sign-up form, visit www.Amgentourofcalifornia.com.