Keeping Summit County neighborhoods clean is an individual responsibility |

Keeping Summit County neighborhoods clean is an individual responsibility

I am in charge of garbage for the county. Trash. Litter. Things people do not want to use any more. I run the Summit County Landfill along with Tom Long and Bill Wallace. Politicians dealing with garbage. How appropriate.

When I moved to Summit County 20 years ago, the county dump was where it is now – on Landfill Road at the edge of Keystone Resort on Highway 6. If you have never been there, I recommend a visit. Our landfill has the best views in the county of the Gore Range and the Tenmile Range. It will take your breath away if you are not holding it because of the stench.

What brought this to mind was a note from Ric Pocius – the real operator of the landfill and our county engineer – saying he had arranged for each of the four major towns to be able to dump free of charge during their town cleanup days.

I live in subdivision in unincorporated Summit County. Because of that, we do not have a “town” cleanup day. It is a shame the majority of the permanent residents do not have a cleanup day. Nearly 70 percent of our permanent population lives outside of any town.

When I have broached this subject, I was always told that each of the many tens of subdivisions would require a leader and a roll-off trash container. This would be an organizational nightmare and very costly to the county or to each homeowner group.

I know many of our areas have their own cleanup efforts and I applaud those who do this each year. My hat is off to anyone who would stoop so low to pick up a cigarette butt and make this place cleaner.

Examples of this kind of individual community effort are John Raymond and his daughter, Kaitlin. They live in my subdivision and were walking by my house picking up trash last week.

I motioned them to come into my house. Kaitlin told me all about picking up trash. It could have had a lot to do with John encouraging this as a great father-daughter activity. She beamed as she told me what they had been doing. I was proud of her as one of our younger citizens helping make this a better place to live.

We all have a duty to clean up Summit County each spring. A lot of our state highways, county roads and bike paths have been adopted by people who would welcome your help.

My friend Steve Immer adopted a portion of the county bike path system a few years ago. For a long time, he had the portion just before the Dickey curves north of Summit High School. It was not uncommon to see him out there on a Saturday or Sunday with his broom hand sweeping the rocks from the path. A rock face there falls quite often, so he had a constant battle keeping the rocks pushed to the side to make the bike ride safer.

Steve since has moved on to a part of the path farther south near the high school and closer to my house. I don’t see him as often but I will guarantee he is keeping the path clean.

Steve, Kaitlin and John Raymond have the same strength of character and spirit of community service. We should all try to achieve this level of responsibility to keep our community clean.

I ask everyone to contact his or her town or homeowners group and get involved in the spring cleanup effort. Additionally, we can all contact the Colorado Department of Transportation, Summit County Road and Bridge and Summit County Open Space and Trails to volunteer to help people who have adopted some place for cleanup.

If nothing else, you could go out one of these days and clean up the road either side of your house. I know you would never do this, but there are some people who throw things out of the windows of their cars, and they might just have landed on your right of way.

County Commissioner Gary Lindstrom is a regular Thursday columnist for the Summit Daily News. Hopefully, he won’t be picking up this column, and other fine Summit Daily News pages, from his right of way.

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