June 12, 2024, R-C Letters to the Editor

Trash gathered by members of the Pine Nut Wildhorse Advocates over the weekend. Photo special to The R-C by Kirk Muller

Trash gathered by members of the Pine Nut Wildhorse Advocates over the weekend. Photo special to The R-C by Kirk Muller

Editor’s Note: Scarselli Elementary School teacher Christina Wlaschin’s fifth-grade students have been engaged in a project based learning unit for a month that led them to investigate ways to keep Carson Valley pristine. 

“Through their investigations, some were driven to write ‘Letters to the Editor’ in order to inform your readers (their neighbors) about some of their findings. These letters are written by fifth-graders. They have been planned and finished almost completely independently.”


I am Colton, a future Freeride World Tour skier. I am writing to you to inform you about residential waste, and what can be done to keep our valley beautiful. As a future FWT skier, it is important to keep our valley beautiful, so that I can practice my skiing skills on the mountains around us (because the only way to get better is to practice.) I have some ideas about things we could do to save our valley.

My first idea on what we could do is we could make another landfill somewhere that is not being used, out of the way of homes, and populated areas. Once we made one, it could be in use for 30-50 years, which is a long time. People could dump their trash, and we could have a low dump fee. That way, people who don’t have a lot of money can still put their waste in the landfill. When we don’t have a proper landfill, and trash gets dumped anywhere, it can produce leachate. Leachate is poisonous, and if it got into our groundwater, we could all be at risk.

My second suggestion is we could put up some signs around popular areas, and add more trash cans. This way, people can have ways to put trash somewhere, even if they don’t have a trash can at their home. We could also use signs to tell people not to litter, and where all the trash cans are. Then, more people can help by throwing their trash away, and helping clean up the valley.

My final suggestion is we could build a refuse/recycling center. Each day of the week, the center could pick up residential recycling, and trash. They would sort through it, and repurpose everything that can be reused. Then, they would take all the non-recyclable trash, and bring it to the landfill. The stuffbthat was repurposed could be sent to an area where they can use the materials to remake cans, bottles, and more. They will pay you money for it. That money will go to the county and can be put to good use.

As you can see, we could do a lot of things to help make our valley more beautiful than it already is. We could put in a landfill, more trash cans and signs, and we could put in a recycling center. I hope you take my suggestions into consideration.

Colton C.


My name is Brooklyn. As a new person to the state I have noticed that it is less clean here than in Boise, Idaho, where I used to live. I will be writing to you because I think we should recycle more often in school and in parks. Here are some reasons why we should recycle more often, first of all by recycling we create a healthier earth for plants, animals, humans, and a healthier environment.

How we can recycle more

Only some things can be recycled including paper, cardboard, plastic, grass, and batteries. So me and my friends were thinking we could contact the community center and see if we could rent a spot there for Earth Day. Then we were thinking we could get some people to work at each station we will set up. Lastly, we are going to set up three stations. One will have how we can reduce waste, then another one will have a place where we can reuse things.

Lastly we will have one to teach how to recycle things. This is what we will do for recycling.

How we can reuse more

At the station where we will teach you how to reuse, we will make a bird feeder out of a plastic bottle. Here are some examples of things you can reuse. You can reuse plastic water bottles, for example when you are done with the water or soda you can refill it. You can also reuse food containers, for example when you finish the food you can bring the container to school or work for lunch. This is what we will do for reusing.

How we can reduce more

At the station where we will teach you how to reduce more, we will have a compost bin to show you what you can put in a compost bin, for example you can put fruit and vegetable scraps. You can put greens and browns in a compost bin. Browns are dry leaves, plant stalks, twigs and shredded brown bags. Greens are fruit scraps, vegetable scraps, grass clippings, and coffee grounds. That is what we will do for reducing.

That is why I think we should use the reduce reuse and recycle strategy. Also that is why I think we should use more recycling cans around parks, stores and movie theaters. Now you should go to a library or the refuse center in Tahoe and look at books that are about community clean up.

Brooklyn Harrelson


My name is Carter Dunn and I’m going to be a future architect and sports player. I am writing this letter to inform you about the litter around the Ranchos and Gardnerville. Some ideas, and hopefully some inspiration.

Cleaning up litter is very important, as us Americans can create over 624,000 metric tons of waste. Waste around the ranchos can cause some significant problems, especially for architects. Architects need clean and vacant lots to build over, and underground. Now, here’s a variety of ideas to reduce this. Reduce/Reuse/Recycle is a great example. When picking up litter, you are reducing the amount of waste on planet earth. When sorting the litter out and picking up reusable objects that may be a way to also reduce more waste. Recycling is the most important of all. When recycling you can save animals’ lives, and make the earth a better place.

It’s a win-win, am I right?

Around the Ranchos, there has been a major problem, There’s trash everywhere. No matter where you look, There’s trash literally, everywhere. Have you looked around and seen trash cans every few blocks? No, and that’s the problem.

When installing more trash cans around neighborhoods, parks, and the street, You may see a huge difference. Most people have trash they don’t want to hold on to, But there’s not a trash can in sight. That’s one of the causes. When installing trash cans, there may be a bit of a problem. It could be hidden behind a bush, or a tree, by a trash dump, or not in sight. This is also why we need maps for our sake, to help relocate the additional trash cans or move trash spots.

Picking up trash, and actually restoring it, is a big change for our mother earth and nature. People really appreciate it, and animals especially love it. Many clubs and programs have been trying to convince people for years. And maybe, one day we can accomplish it. But we cannot do it alone. Please save the earth and people’s will for it. Humans really appreciate it, and animals especially love it.

Carter Dunn


My name is Jayden Jones and I am writing this letter because I want people to start recycling, and not littering across the community.

This letter is important so that our community can be spotless with no trash on the ground and so trees don’t have to be cut down as much as they are right now. That is why it would be better to be recycling more around the community.

We should have signs and posters around the area, to tell people not to litter and to recycle. Also maybe a couple recycling bins around the community, so people know where to put their recycling trash away. But if that idea does not work then we can do other ideas, than just this one.

We could do a community clean up around the community and clean up spots that are not getting noticed around that are not getting picked up. If it ever happened to be a community clean up then it would be once a month on the first monday of the month. Until our community is cleansed. After the community is done cleaning up we would separate the trash, from recyclable and non recyclable. So that is why would want to do a community cleanup in the future.

That is why we should use some of these ideas in the future. It is important to have ideas like these to make Gardnerville a more cleansed area.

Jayden Jones


My name is Kynsleigh Kelly. I am a future anesthesiologist. Also I’m a future volleyball player. I am writing to you because my class has been researching ways to keep our valley green. I am emotionally attached to the community’s health because I am interested in medicine.

Now I will be talking about why we need to keep our valley healthy. We’ve seen trash everywhere from our school to Lampe Park. Also we see trash in the sand pits, the side of the road. Everyday so much trash gets thrown on the ground in lots of our parks, and that makes me sad. So I pick up lots of trash in my neighborhood and in our whole valley.

Next I will be talking about why we need more trash cans everywhere. I suggest more trash cans on the playground and in the community parks. I also think we need more posters that show not littering in all languages. Over a million people around the world litter every second because there are not enough trash cans.

From trash cans to landfills, the trash gets dumped. In a landfill there are layers of things. First we have a soil layer, next we have a layer of pipe to collect all the leachate, under that we have a clay layer. Finally, we have a plastic layer to protect the leachate from getting into the groundwater.

In conclusion, this is why we need to keep the valley healthy, and clean. Please let me know if any of this stands out to you. It would also be splendid if you write back to me. That way we can come up with things that can make our valley cleaner.

Kynsleigh Kelly


I am Lucas Amthauer. I am somewhat of an artist and a future animator and it is important to me and everyone that you and everyone help and volunteer to keep the environment clean for me, No, everyone to have a nice clean life.

Me as a future animator I will want to go to work and not get my tires jammed with trash, but also I want to see a clean neighborhood and, when I draw a hyper realistic landscape I don’t want to draw a pile of garbage — instead of a beautiful landscape so we need to “fix” this mess (pun included). Plus did you know that 12 million tonnes of trash enters the oceans every year and one tonne is 2,204 pounds.

One idea for cleaning up is I could make my own little animations to raise environmental awareness I am currently making a Art Contest here at Scarselli to raise environmental awareness but it’s not going as smoothly as I thought anyways I can post animations about it make it be popular and it would all be done.

But if a series of animations does not work then we need a backup plan. Smarter students in my class are planning on making a robot to clean up trash so I can volunteer their services as a solution, or we could team up and make a “Clean Up Team” to pick up trash for example the sandpits.

In conclusion I love the valley and I would like you to keep it clean for everyone.

As you know I love it here in the valley and in Nevada in general, so it pains me to see it so trashy. I would stay in the valley as much as I can so promise me this, you would keep it clean here as much as you can while I’m alive will you not?

Lucas Amthauer


My name is Bailey. I am a cheerleader and future Douglas High school student. I am writing to you about what my class is learning. We have been investigating how to keep our valley clean. As a future nurse in the valley, people’s health is important to me.

We started by walking through the sand pits and realized there was a lot of litter. This got us thinking about cleaning up. It got us wondering about trash can placement. Maybe there are not enough of them. Also maybe we should have more signs for people in the ranchos to see.

Another reason is to teach people how to reduce waste. You can reduce waste by buying things with reusable packaging, like plastic yogurt containers or milk cartons. You can use these things to store food from diners.

Also, reusing materials can keep our valley clean. Ways to reuse include composting old food.

Soil is needed, along with sun and water, and lucky for us we have all of this in our valley.

In conclusion, I want to keep our valley clean. I love this valley and taking care of people’s health and reducing waste is important to me.

Bailey Hiebendahl


My name is Hayden, a future entrepreneur, and I am writing this letter to you for ideas on how we could keep our valley healthy & clean. Our valley should be kept clean, and healthy because our valley is beautiful, everyone tries to keep the valley clean as much as they can.

As a future entrepreneur, the reason I want to stop all of the trash from our valley is because of how beautiful our valley is. If we let our valley start building up trash, then it would just be a wasteland. Our valley already looks amazing, and if we keep up what everyone is doing right now, we could keep our valley healthy. If we keep our valley clean, more people would move into our valley, therefore, we would have a higher population which would mean more money for businesses.

Another idea would be for everyone (or the people who want to participate in this) to lay trash bags all around the streets, so when a person walks by, and they think about throwing trash on the ground (littering), they would throw their trash into a trash bag. Although this idea would work, we would have to keep track of all the bags around the neighborhoods. When we are on our free time we could clean them up and place new trash bags around again, then we repeat the process until our streets are completely clean.

One last idea would be to clean up all of our rivers. If we do this, our valley would be kept clean, and less animals would die from trash waste. Animals can get stuck in a bag, or plastic-glass could cut them. Therefore, if we keep our rivers clean, we should be able to stop a lot of animals from dying.

The valley should be kept clean because it would just be a wasteland, the reason is because such good land can just be filled with trash. In conclusion, we should keep our valley as clean as we can, for our valley is a beautiful place.

Hayden S. Monson


I am Jennifer, a future therapist and graphic designer. I am writing to you because I want to educate you about the ways that I have learned to keep our valley healthy. I want others to come into the valley and realize how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful community.

I know there is a lot of trash in our valley. That’s why we need more sanitary landfills, so we have more space for trash. Sanitary landfills are different from other landfills, because they are cleaner for the environment and it’s not open, it is covered by dirt. Sanitary landfills help our valley be cleaner.

Also we should have more trash cans, like more in public places. That would help more people throw away trash instead of littering. So we the people in Nevada can find the trash cans. We should create a map that shows where all the trash cans are, or an app that shows where the trash cans are.

Finally I think that the 3 R’s are very important. That’s why I think the people in our valley should recycle. In fact, recycling is one of the 3 R’s. The other R’s are reduce and reuse. These are very important to help our community grow and thrive.

What I’m saying is that we need to recycle and remember where our trash goes. So we can have a healthy community. If any of this stood out to you, I would be more than willing to answer any questions you may have.



My name is Kora and I will be writing about why it is important to keep our valley clean. As an outdoor enthusiast this is very important because it is obnoxious to see trash lying around. I think that teaching about the three R’s (reduce, reuse, and recycle) is a good way to teach people about how to decrease the amount of trash lying around.

It is very important to keep our valley clean because trash is super bad for the environment, human health, it can stunt plant growth, and it is ugly. The three R’s are a way to educate people on how to lessen the amount of waste we create, so today I will be teaching you about the three R’s and ways you can make less waste.

First off, is reduce. Reduce means to minimize the amount of waste we create. You can reduce waste by not buying produce wrapped in plastic, and also buying food in bulk. Plastic water bottles are also a big problem, because they are not reusable. Instead buy washable and reusable water bottles. Say “no” to plastic straws at restaurants, and also ask for glass cups if they have them. Do you use Ziploc bags for snacks? That is a bad choice because you have to throw them away after one use. Did you know that you can buy reusable snack bags that are dishwasher safe? Those are a great option instead.

Next, is reuse. Reuse means to find new ways to use things that might have been thrown out. One way you can reuse is by using tin cans as organizers for pencils, pens, markers, etc. You can also save your avocado pits and look up how to grow them into a tree.

Also old newspapers work just as well as wrapping paper. Do you have any items that are still in good shape? Donate them to charity.

Lastly, is recycle. Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials thatwould otherwise be thrown away as waste, instead they are turned into new products. But only some things can be recycled including aluminum, blank paper, glass, most plastics, and cardboard. You could also buy a recycling bin for at home. 

Lastly, you can take your recycling to the Tahoe Refuse and Recycle Center. Just remember when you are out and about and have something that can be recycled look for a recycling bin and put it in  there.

As you can see, it is very important to keep our valley clean. The three R’s are a great way to inform on ways you can help lessen waste and keep our beautiful valley as clean as possible. 

Kora Jasperson


My name is Lewis, a future mathematician and much more.

I am writing this letter to inform you about residential waste, the issues it creates, what can be done to keep our valley pristine and healthy, and how we could build a recycling center for our valley. I will show you this through many experiments I, and my fellow classmates, have conducted recently. This is important to me because I have lived here since I was five years of age, and I intend to visit in my future; I want this valley to be an exception to the growing waste in places around the world.

First of all, I will address a current issue in our valley. If you take a hike into the Gardnerville sandpits, you will find quite a level of garbage there, such as tires, used bottles, cardboard, and much more. As you know, the sandpits are an ecosystem that holds many plants and creatures; their habitats can be destroyed. The trash may be because of the reduced amount of proper trash disposal areas in wilderness areas, but residential waste is the waste that an average person can control.

Now, I will explain what this waste does to the environment. Trash deposited in landfills can not only riddle the air with methane (a polluting chemical) but also have the potential to poison the

groundwater if the waste is not properly contained. Additionally, if you look at an image of the Carson City Landfill, you will see it filled with much residential waste, and industrial waste. Residential waste is, according to Tim from Busch Systems, is “disposable materials generated by households.” Now, not all of the Carson City Landfill is residential waste, and that also goes for other trash deposit areas.

Companies also put their waste in trash deposit areas, that is called industrial waste.

But, there are ways to fix the aforementioned issues, and I will now talk about ways to reuse and decrease waste. First of all, people should not buy individual containers for products. Individual packaging increases the amount of waste that enters landfills, because for individual packaging, there is more packaging, for less material. Or you could start a composter, and compost food waste. This composter can help gardens and is much better than dropping it in a landfill. The final solution I will mention is about using recyclable material, instead of non-biodegradable material. For example, use a reusable water bottle instead of a plastic bottle that has one use. Also, you can sell/donate materials that you no longer find useful, such as old clothes, jars, cans, and more. As you can see, these issues can be fixed.

Finally, I will show you some plans that can fix this issue. We can work to create a recycling center, which would take material that can be recycled. In fact, aluminum can be worth a decent amount of money if there is enough of it. Here is the financial plan: the person who decides to give some recyclable materials to the recycling center gets a commission of the money from recycled materials, and the rest would go to the county. Also, we could set up community clean-ups, with fundraisers to pay the people (a very small amount, mind you) to clean the community. We could also promote proper trash disposal, recycling, reusing, and using the potentially newly built recycling center. Along with that community clean-up idea, we could set up a reward system for people who do clean the trash; in turn, that could be funded by people supporting recycling. Stores could promote bulk packaging, recyclable bags, and more. These plans can help the issues with residential waste issues.

As you can see, there are many issues with waste. However, there are many solutions to them.

There is still a lot to fix in our valley, but I think we can change that. I know you have a busy job, so thank you for your time reading my letter.

Lewis E. Sanders


My name is Khloe and I am a current softball player and I play on the fields and dirt. It is very clean out there. So if the fields were to just be loaded with trash I would not be able to play my favorite sport, so I hope all of the people in the future will keep it clean.

We have been learning how to keep communities spotless throughout research, some of the ways we learned how to recycle and also how to just throw your trash away. Our earth is already messy so why make it messier than it already is? We have futures in this community so why not keep it as clean as we can so that when we are whatever we want to be we are not with trash.

Some of my ideas to keep the communities clean are to make a map of your communities for hikers, add more trash cans around and put them on the maps. Another idea is to go on a community clean up like adopting a highway and cleaning it up. If we can do all of this we can make our valley clean again. Imagine how fabulous that would be.

Next, my friend and I were just talking but then, we thought, what if we made a compost garden at our school but we will leave the school next year so we could give responsibility to younger grades and we could visit the garden. “How would we do this?” we asked ourselves. Well first we researched, and we found out that concrete, cinder blocks would be good for the frame. But then we realized we already have garden boxes here so we could use those for it. Maybe you could do something like this, too.

So you can see, there is a lot of ways to help our community and ways we can keep it beautiful. 



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