Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful cleanup is today

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -- The extra rain and snowmelt this season means higher river levels and that has affected how much trash has been picked up and sent down the river.

For more than 15 years, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful has held its Great Community Cleanup event.

With the extra storm impact, organizers are expanding the number of sites they will be cleaning and they hope to increase the number of volunteers as well.

The non-profit is hoping to bring volunteers on board for the May 6 cleanup.

"It's a way to interact with other people that care about picking up trash. It just feels good at the end of the day after making your community a better place to live," said Matthew Salazar, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful Program Manager.

This winter season has seen the Truckee River hit flood stage a few times. Salazar says with the river being higher than usual, it did present a problem in the planning stages earlier on.

"The issue with the rising river is a lot of our partners in the municipalities couldn't identify which sites needed it because of lack of access," said Salazar.

This year the organization will focus on cleaning up 23 sites. They added a few sites around the downtown area and Rock Park. In past years, they only dealt with 15 to 18 sites.

Last year volunteers collected 42 tons of trash and Salazar says that is an equivalent to filling up 21 Honda Civics.

"Not that I like finding 42 tons of trash in our shared spaces, but it is a good feeling to get all of those people out removing that amount of dumping and trash that is left," said Salazar.

Salazar says they usually get 800 to 900 volunteers, but this year he hopes to surpass a thousand.