Some good news from volunteers with Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, who say that that Wednesday's annual litter survey showed that the amount of litter is down in some key areas.
For the survey, KTMB employees and volunteers took to the streets across the Truckee Meadows to rate the amount of litter they found..
Areas are rated on a 1 to 4 scale: one being virtually no litter and 4 being an illegal dump site.
According to volunteers, northeast Reno, Spanish Springs and Sun Valley all showed a large amount of improvement over the last year.
Pyramid Way, one of the most litter ridden areas in town, fell from a 4 - the top of their litter scale - down to 1.5.
"We have a lot of caring people in our community who have noticed trash in their neighborhoods and are really stepping up to make our home better for everyone," said KTMB executive director Christi Cakiroglu. "With programs like the KTMB Litter Survey, we can also raise awareness about the wide-ranging health and economic impacts litter and illegal dumping have on our community."
Unfortunately, many open space areas like Golden Valley, Hidden Valley and Keystone Canyon had more trash than in previous years. Still, they are improving from the first year KTMB tracked open space areas, when they were all classified as illegal dump sites.
"Through coalitions like the Illegal Dumping Task Force, we move beyond cleanups and offer community education and economic alternatives," said KTMB Program Manager Jaime Souza. "As an organization, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful mobilizes thousands of volunteers to clean up litter and dump sites, but if we want to be a truly healthy community, we have to help residents understand the real drain on our economy and quality of life these problems create."
The KTMB Litter Survey provides data to local municipalities as well as Keep America Beautiful's national Litter Survey. With this data, city and county agencies can pinpoint problem litter, graffiti and dumping areas and better use and secure funding. Areas to survey are chosen to reflect population and land use, and are rated on a 1-to-4 scale, with 1 meaning "virtually no litter observed" and 4 meaning "illegal dump sites present".
The KTMB Litter Survey is supported by a grant from The Thelma B. and Thomas P. Hart Foundation.
(KTMB contributed to this report.)