In the summer months, Tahoe’s beaches are its most popular attraction. It’s also where environmental impacts are concentrated, especially litter. Keeping the shoreline clean supports a thriving tourism economy and the Lake’s ecological health.
AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH
The League to Save Lake Tahoe, in collaboration with ECO-CLEAN Solutions, has introduced an innovative new technology to address beach litter, targeting the most difficult to detect, hard to remove, and potentially harmful litter: tiny bits of plastic and other waste.
The BEBOT is a solar- and battery-powered, beach-cleaning robot. It sifts and captures micro debris from beach sand to a depth of four inches, without damaging flora and fauna, or generating emissions. The robot is capable of cleaning 3,000 square meters in an hour.
A TEST CASE
At the League’s 2022 Keep Tahoe Red, White and Blue July 5th Beach Cleanup, the BEBOT and a group of volunteers picked up litter following 4th of July celebrations at Nevada Beach.
A small group of participants were asked to collect as much litter as they could find within a designated stretch of beach. They returned with 30 small pieces of trash. Then the BEBOT covered the same area of beach – sifting through the top few inches of sand – and came back with 300 small pieces of trash.
This simple test demonstrates that there is more litter in Tahoe than meets the eye, and both people and technology are part of the solution.
BUILT FOR A PURPOSE
A decade of data from Keep Tahoe Blue cleanup events shows that litter on Tahoe’s beaches is getting smaller, harder to remove, and potentially more harmful for the environment. The BEBOT can be the last line of defense to keep pollution out of the water, where it becomes much harder to remove and more damaging to the Lake’s water quality and clarity.
PART OF A BROADER SOLUTION
To Keep Tahoe Blue, it takes more than a beach-cleaning robot. It takes everyone who enjoys this special place to take Lake-friendly actions and leave Tahoe better than they found it. The BEBOT is one more tool in our Lake-saving tool belt.