Utah County residents tired of finding large trash on trails, work to clean up an uphill battle

UTAH COUNTY - You don’t have to look far to see a home appliance scattered on the hillside of Lake Mountain.

“Right here,” pointed Alex Tarsha, who lives nearby. “Anywhere in these canyons.”

Tarsha and a handful of others comb the hillside monthly, trying to find and clean up the mess others have left behind.

“You name it, last year they pulled out of the canyon over here a barbecue grill, shot full of holes,” he added. “We found a 16-foot trailer filled with crates and trash.”

“They’ll take their old dishwasher, television set, computer, toilet,” Jason Curry with State Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands said.

Curry said the problem isn’t limited to just Lake Mountain. The causeway connecting Syracuse to Antelope Island also continues to be a breeding ground for target practice trash left behind.

“It’s right on the lake bed and with all that volume of lead, there’s a huge concern of contamination,” Curry said.

He also adds that there’s a fine of $1,000 and up to six months in jail for anyone found violating the law.

“I don’t want to see the land get shut down to us,” Tarsha said.

He, like many others, use the land for off-roading, and Tarsha says he enjoys practice shooting as well. However, he goes to the range or cleans up once he’s done.

“The recreational target shooters all the way to the very serious hunters, these are people who won’t come out here and leave garbage out here,” Tarsha said. “What we have is the fly by night guys.”