There’s snow on the ground in Tahoe, and it is a glorious sight to behold. Lifts are spinning at all 13 Tahoe-area resorts, and the sled hills, snowshoe tracks and cross-country trails are getting lots of love.
While you’re enjoying Tahoe this winter, be extra mindful to not leave anything behind. Our data shows that litter is a serious problem in the winter, just as it is in the summer.
For instance, the unofficial sled hill at Spooner Summit is an annual hotbed of winter-time pollution. During the winter of 2020-21, approximately 3,000 pounds of trash were removed – almost 2,000 pounds of which was collected by one of our dedicated Tahoe Blue Crews, Team Uppaway.
Winter litter at the Spooner Summit sled hill has been an issue for years. At the urging of Keep Tahoe Blue, local news stations have brought attention to the issue. The video above is from February 2023. Video: KOLO 8 News Reno
Based on those shocking numbers, we knew something needed to change. Last winter, 2021-22, the League paid to place a dumpster and two portable restrooms at the site from January 15, 2021 to April 7, 2022. During that time, Team Uppaway only collected 126 pounds of trash, and the dumpster intercepted 2,000 pounds of would-be litter.
Without another solution in sight, the League again paid to have a dumpster and two portable toilets placed at the Spooner Sled Hill this winter. The facilities are serviced regularly and fitted with signs to encourage recreators to do the right thing.
Clearly, Spooner Summit needs better facilities. For the past two and a half years, the League has been doggedly lobbying the site’s managers – the Nevada Department of Transportation and USDA Forest Service – to take steps to fight litter. Despite our efforts, they have not.
Our team will continue to advocate and create solutions until sled litter is no more.
Learn how you can help Keep Tahoe Blue during the winter. Visit keeptahoeblue.org/resources.
Facilities like these at Spooner Summit help prevent litter at popular winter recreation sites.
Signs on a League-funded dumpster encourage sledders to dispose of their trash responsibly.