Cleanup season is underway in the Vail Valley
Can’t make it?
If you haven’t been able to make it to the various cleanup days that have already been held, and can’t make it to Vail this week, getting rid of even hard-to-dispose-of stuff is still pretty easy.
The Eagle County Solid Waste and Recycling department operates the county landfill just north of Wolcott. There, residents get free disposal of up to four tires and 1,600 pounds of stuff every year — with some restrictions, of course.
EAGLE COUNTY — Snow is useful for more than winter sports — it covers up a season’s worth of stuff ripe for spring cleaning.
Cleanup season in the valley covers several weeks in April and May. The town of Vail’s cleanup week is this week and culminates with a community effort Saturday.
On Thursday, the town will pick up big items including tables, shelves and sofas. You have to make an appointment by calling 970-479-2158, and crews will be out from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This does not include refrigerators, freezers or hazardous waste such as paint or chemicals.
Residents, property owners and people who work in Vail can drop off household hazardous waste, electronic items and paper to be shredded at the Lionshead parking structure on Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Mark Hoblitzell, Vail environmental sustainability coordinator, said the electronic recycling is popular. Town officials expect residents and employees to drop off as many as 10,000 pounds of computers, TVs and other items.
Also, Trinity Recycling will collect scrap metal and old appliances, and Habitat for Humanity will collect usable furniture, usable appliances and building supplies.
You can’t bring smoke detectors, ammunition or medical waste. Call 970-479-2333 for more information.
Cleanup efforts are a long-running tradition in Vail, but as efforts have spread throughout the valley, Hoblitzell said it has become more difficult to schedule times that work for people. With cleanup efforts on Vail Pass, along Interstate 70 and more, “It’s a busy spring for people who pick stuff up.”
Still, the Vail cleanup is popular, particularly the community event that relies on volunteers to spruce up the town. Hoblitzell said the community cleanup has again moved to a weekend day to help residents who want to participate.
Residents who participate in the Vail cleanup are treated to lunch, and the first 100 volunteers who sign up will have $25 contributed in their names to the local charity of their choice.
The results are worth it, too, with many dumpster-loads hauled to the county landfill.
The more sensitive items such as papers or computer hard drives are also shredded or destroyed by certified companies.
As with most other things in the spring, cleanup season starts in the western valley.
Gypsum has had a community cleanup day for many years, and town special projects and marketing coordinator Krista DeHerrera said it’s becoming more popular.
Residents in April filled more than 10 of the biggest dumpsters available.
“It kind of goes in waves,” DeHerrera said. “Some years there’s more furniture and bigger things, and some years there’s more construction waste.”
DeHerrera said the town’s core group of cleanup volunteers is growing, too.
“It used to be primarily town staff,” DeHerrera said. “This year, we had more than 25 volunteers.”
That group has another big job May 24, when crews will head up Cottonwood Pass, which has long been used for illegal dumping.
“We’ve found cars up there,” DeHerrera said. “We’re bringing up town loaders this year to help.”
While Cottonwood Pass is mostly out of the town limits DeHerrera said people in town feel an obligation to try to clean up the area.
“It’s kind of a forgotten location,” DeHerrera said. “That’s why we want to get up there.”
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VAIL — The lift operator in the maze at Vail Village’s Gondola One tilts his head back and hollers: “Masks up please!”