Hundreds clean the county’s roads |

Hundreds clean the county’s roads

Chris Outcalt
Vail, CO
Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyVolunteers clean the side of the road during the 10th annual highway cleanup

EAGLE COUNTY ” At 10:30 a.m., Dawn Stewart-Sheaffer and the rest of her cleanup crew were already admiring their work: A line of orange bags filled with trash intermittently placed along U.S. Highway 6.

By noon, hundreds of others had had the same satisfaction.

“I think this year has been the best,” said Sue Mott, a volunteer coordinator that has helped with the cleanup since it started.

About 800 people volunteered to pick up trash on 121 miles of road including Interstate 70 form east of Vail to Dotsero, U.S. Highway 6 down to Dotsero, U.S. Highway 24 from Red Cliff to Dowd Junction and U.S. Highway 131 from Wolcott past 4 Eagle Ranch, Mott said.

Each group was assigned a different stretch of road to clean.

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People were still calling to volunteer at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, Mott said.

“I think this probably has been one of the best turnouts we’ve had,” she said. “We ended up getting three teams at the last minute.”

A team from 1st Bank was responsible for cleaning the stretch of U.S. Highway 6 between the Walmart roundabout and Beaver Creek roundabouts.

Stewart-Sheaffer seemed only a little surprised to have found a few intact marshmallow Peeps on the side of the road.

“Even the ants couldn’t get to them,” she said.

A few of the bus stops were littered with cigarette butts, but the stretch of road was relatively clean, she said.

The group used a separate bag to collect bottles and cans, to try and be as environmentally friendly as possible, said Ellen Moritz, who came across a dead snake while cleaning up the road.

The cleanup, which was sponsored by the Eagle River Watershed Council, went from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and was followed by a barbecue lunch. More than 600 at lunch at 4 Eagle Ranch.

“Everybody was in such great spirits,” Mott said. “I think that’s what’s fun about this, everyone thinks we’re a resort town but we’re not, we’re a hometown and I think this makes us more of a hometown.”

Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or

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