What better time to get a jump on defensible space than when you’re stuck at home during a worldwide pandemic? You’ve been staring at those pine needles and fallen tree branches for months now, so grab your rake and hop to it.

Clean-up guidelines may vary depending where you live, but generally yard debris includes grass clippings, pine needles, branches, twigs, pinecones, dead wood, leaves, weeds, and plant and tree trimmings. What NOT to put in your green waste container includes construction debris, dirt, rocks, plastic bags, trash, food, or pet waste. Another big no-no is putting your green waste into plastic bags to be placed curbside. Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal did away with the green bag program two years ago, bringing an end to unsightly plastic bags lining the roadside throughout the area.

Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal services Nevada County, east of Colfax and in the Tahoe area, as well as parts of Placer County including Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Tahoe City, and along the North Shore and unincorporated El Dorado County along the West Shore. Residents may drop off up to 6 yards of green waste, all at once or over multiple trips, at the Eastern Regional Landfill, located on Cabin Creek Road in Truckee, for free from May through October. New this year, residents will receive an address-specific punch card to track yards dropped off.


TTSD customers can rent green waste dumpsters for $75. Delivered right to your door, you’ll have the container from Wednesday to Wednesday. There’s a limit of two per household and they sell out quickly, so residents are encouraged to book in advance. The program runs from May through October and the price increases to $81 as of July 1. Note that because of COVID-19, people are especially busy in their yards, and as of press time, the program was already booked through August. People do on occasion cancel their reservations, so it pays to call weekly to see if there have been any openings as there is no formal cancellation list available.

Truckee Fire Protection District will reimburse you the cost of a green waste dumpster through its Defensible Space Rebate Program. This program runs only as long as funds last, so don’t hesitate to sign up. For details, visit truckeefire.org/defensible-space-rebate-program or call (530) 582-7850.

The nonprofit Fire Safe Council of Nevada County offers residents there a defensible space chipping program in which debris like sticks and tree branches can be placed roadside to be chipped by the Fire Safe Council. Those interested in having their debris chipped must fill out an application. During peak months, wait times can reach five to six weeks, so don’t delay. Previously funded solely by grants, the program now operates largely through donations. Suggested donation amount is $75 per hour. For specifics as to what may or may not be included for chipping, program guidelines, and to apply, go to areyoufiresafe.com/programs/chipping-program.

On June 19 and 26, Nevada County residents can bring their green waste to the Truckee Rodeo grounds for free disposal from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents are responsible for hauling and unloading debris, with Fire Safe Council members and volunteers on hand to screen loads for prohibited items like commercial green waste, rounds larger than 24 inches, stumps, rocks, boards, and trash. Loads are limited to 3 yards per trip. If debris is transported in bags, they must be emptied on site by the hauler. Find additional information at readynevadacounty.org/greenwaste. To volunteer, go to bit.ly/GWVolunteer_Truckee.

Incline Village residents are serviced by Waste Management of Nevada. Pine needle collection, which was set to start in late April, had been delayed until June due to restrictions in response to COVID-19. Green waste drop-off is available for residential customers at the transfer station on Sweetwater Drive until curbside collection resumes. Identification matching the address of a current residential account in Incline Village or current Incline Village General Improvement District card is required. This program is limited to residential customers of Waste Management in Incline Village.

Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal

Eastern Regional Landfill
Highway 89 and Cabin Creek Road
Truckee, CA 96161
(530) 583-7800
Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Info: Go to waste101.com for up-to-date information pertaining to coronavirus protocol.

Administrative Office
645 Westlake Blvd.
Suite 5
Tahoe City, CA 96145
(530) 583-7800
Info: In-person service temporarily suspended due to coronavirus prevention measures. Full customer service available by phone.

Waste Management

Incline Village Transfer Station
1200 Sweetwater Dr.
Incline Village, NV
(775) 831-2971
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Closed 12 – 12:30 daily for lunch


  • Juliana Demarest

    Juliana Demarest is a Jersey girl with ink in her blood. She fell in love with print journalism at a young age in the '80s when her Uncle Tony would take her to "work" at his weekly paper. In 1997, she co-founded a weekly newspaper in North Jersey. One day, she went to photograph a local farmer for a news story. She ended up marrying him and leaving journalism to become a farmer's wife. In 2010, they packed up their two children and headed to Truckee in pursuit of the outdoor life. She didn't realize just how much she missed journalism until she joined Moonshine in 2018 after taking time off to be mom. Connect with Juliana juliana@moonshineink.com

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