Ask Joe: How much trash piles up on Tahoe beaches over the 4th of July?

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Ever wonder how much trash piles up on Tahoe beaches over the 4th of July holiday?

That's the question some of my colleagues asked during our morning news meeting this week. They also wanted to know if anyone ever gets cited for littering up at Tahoe over the 4th.

Here's what I found out:

The 4th of July is a great weekend up at the lake, and it's great for business. Unfortunately, a lot of trash does get left behind as well. The numbers are pretty staggering considering how much effort is put into protecting Lake Tahoe the rest of the year.

According to the League To Save Lake Tahoe, volunteers picked up nearly 1,600 pounds of trash from nine different beaches after the 4th of July weekend in 2016.

There were 330 volunteers who helped out with the clean-up effort, and part of all that trash included 7,738 cigarette butts!

Since then the group has worked to partner with businesses to install cigarette butt canisters around the Tahoe Basin.

So keep that in mind if you're up at the lake this year for the 4th. Obviously people can use a reminder that it's not okay to litter, and that whatever you take in, you should make sure to take with you when you leave.

I did reach out to state parks for both Nevada and California. I only heard from Nevada, and they tell me they did not cite anyone for littering on the beaches over the 4th of July last year.

They say it's just too tough to catch people in the act, so they rely instead on reminding people not to litter. Judging from what we've seen, that message might need to be a little stronger in order to sink in.

Just a reminder, please don't litter whether you're at Tahoe -- or anywhere else for that matter.

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