The Carson River needs your help.
Carson City Parks, Recreation and Open Space is seeking volunteers to pick up trash illegally dumped in canyons near the river on Jan. 20 as part of the national Day of Service on Martin Luther King Day.
“It is really close to the Carson River, less than a quarter mile,” said Mackenzie Gargano, volunteer coordinator.
The canyon on East Silver Saddle Ranch contains what Tyler Kerver, park ranger, calls wash outs that when wet with rain or snow melt can carry the trash or remnants of it down to the river below.
“It affects soil and water quality,” said Gargano. “Lots of materials break down over time and it’s important we get it out of there.”
Most of the trash consists of torn apart garbage bags, old furniture, and lawn clippings, which can be as harmful as any other garbage despite the fact it’s biodegradable.
“We clean up a lot yard waste and that sounds OK, but we don’t know what people use on their lawns or if it includes non-native species,” said Kerver.
Parks and Rec will provide gloves and other equipment to pick up the trash and Waste Management of Nevada is setting up two large Dumpsters near the site.
As part of its new contract with the city, Waste Management picks up illegally dumped trash as long as it can be accessed via paved roads.
Trash pickup is now mandatory in Carson City, but despite that Kerver said garbage dumped on city open space or Bureau of Land Management land is as big a problem as ever.
Waste Management has not had issues with non-payment or non-use, according to Kendra Kostelecky, communications specialist, suggesting the service is being utilized.
“Most people who were adamantly against having mandatory service have followed the exemption procedure, which includes providing receipts for the landfill,” said Kostelecky.
The cleanup event is from 9 a.m. to noon and parking is a mile down Sierra Vista Lane off Carson River Road. The dump site is a quarter mile walk from the parking area. All participants must sign a waiver with the city and BLM.
Gargano said volunteers don’t need to RSVP but contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-283-7711 for information.