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Litter Categorization

An Introduction to our Litter Categorization process:

Removing litter from Lake Tahoe via scuba divers and other volunteers is only the first step to our mission. To increase the impact of litter removal we categorize and collect data on every single piece of litter that we remove from the lake. This process has been developed from the United Nation Environmental Program (UNEP) and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission’s  (IOC) litter categorization standard. This standard separates items into 9 different material types (plastic, metal, wood, etc.) and then by 83 various uses (fishing, recreation, construction etc.)

litter categorization
litter on a tarp

Categorization Process

Opportunities to help with categorization:

Volunteers helping with clean up the lake


Come out, learn how to categorize litter and see what we pulled out of the lake! Please email to get on the schedule.

Internship Program:

To increase the impact of litter removal we will be categorizing and collecting data on every single piece of litter that we remove during our scuba clean up projects. Our internship program will focus on assisting us with categorizing and collecting this litter data. This program will allow interns to gain insight into impactful ways to educate the community and will provide experience using a peer reviewed litter categorization method. For more information please contact

Program Details

The data collected through this litter categorization program will be publicly available to the Tahoe Basin community, including local and state government, private and non-profit organizations. This data will benefit public education, regional planning and developing waste management strategies. Our goal is to contribute to litter mitigation in the Lake Tahoe basin for years to come.