County roads become common dumping grounds for trash

By Rosalie Everson
Posted 5/11/10

Weld and Adams County have about 3,000 miles of roads each, many of them rural, and perfect for dumping trash beside where it becomes someone else’s problem – the taxpayers.    …

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County roads become common dumping grounds for trash


Weld and Adams County have about 3,000 miles of roads each, many of them rural, and perfect for dumping trash beside where it becomes someone else’s problem – the taxpayers.

    “We end up picking it up because it’s in the right of way,” said Mona Weidenkeller of Weld County Public Works.

    She said the department keeps a list of places called in with trash, other areas are reported by the employees. Sometimes there is recourse.

    “If there’s any kind of name left in the trash, then the sheriff’s department gets involved,” she said.

    “As complaints come in, we go out,” added Ellen Gomez of Adams County Public Works.      She said many times it is county workers who spot the messes beside the road.

    Weld Public Works head Pat Persichino said much of the county’s road cleanup work is done on weekends by work release personel, with supervision by a rotation of  two or three county employees whose overtime wages are reimbursed through the county’s solid waste fund. It’s almost a seasonal thing, he said, that gets worse during warm weather.

    “Usually what we find is not the household type trash, but old furniture, appliances and tires,” Perischino said,

    Once a year, the county makes an all-out effort to help unincorporated towns in the county clean up, bringing in free Dumpsters. Last year, it was Gill, the year before, Wattenberg. This year’s was in the unincorporated area around Kersey.

    For rural Weld or Adams County residents, there is no government-sponsored free big trash or landfill day.

    “We did have one,” Adams planning department’s Craig Tessmer said, with a bit of resignation, “but that was before the landfill got annexed into Commerce City.  Even after they annexed it, Allied Waste continued to do it for several years, but not any more.”

    Tessmer said when the Alpine landfill opens up at 88th Avenue and Shumaker road near Bennett, there will be reduced rates for Adams County residents, though that might “be quite a drive” for most Adams residents.  

Where to take the trash

Adams County residents who don’t live in the city limits of Brighton, can take part in the Adams County Household chemical and electronic waste roundup May 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Water World. They will accept house, garden and pool chemicals, automotive fluids, propane tanks from one to 20 pounds, vehicle and household batteries, CFLs and fluorescent light bulks, and tires from passenger vehicles and pickup trucks. There’s a charge of $2 per tire.  Electronics are accepted for a fee--$8 for computer monitors, $15 for TV and up to $2 for other electronics.   A payment of $20 is requested to help offset the high cost of hazardous waste disposal. Volunteers can dispose of waste for free, call 720-322-1508.

    Weld County residents have a better deal. There are two sites, one in Greeley and the other just west of Dacono at 5500 state Highway 52, that offer free disposal of hazardous materials. That site is open the first and third Saturdays of each month from 9 a.m. to 4 pm.  They accept most household chemical waste, but not electronics, appliances, medicines, construction waste, radioactive or large propane tanks.  For questions, or to alert them to incoming large loads, call 970-304-6415 x2226.  

    Tires don’t have to be tossed to the side of the road. Snowy River Enterprises charges $1.25 each for passenger tires without wheels, $2.50 with wheels, $6 for semi tires without wheels and $10 with wheels.  The tires are shredded and used in a variety of recycled products.  They are located east of I-25 exit 243 beside WCR 9.5 on 4450 Mulligan Drive. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Landfills are open to the public, for a price. 

• The Denver Regional Landfill in Erie charges $38.50 per car or pick-up load plus $18 each for mattresses, appliances or furniture.  They don’t accept tires, and loads must be covered or tied down.  They are open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

• The landfill at Tower Road and 88th Avenue is open 24 four hours a day from Monday through Friday and closes at 3 p.m. on Saturday.  The rates range from $25 for a car to $45-$60 for a pickup load and $14 a yard for trailers.  Environmental and fuel fees add about another $13 per load. They “pretty much take everything that is not hazardous” said employee Audra Curl.



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