Thursday, May 31, 2007

Trash, trash and more trash

Did an early morning Red Rock loop and picked up a full plastic grocery bag of trash. Did the same yesterday, walking along Manitou Ave from downtown to the highway onramp.

Any ideas how to get people to use trash cans instead of turning Colorado into one?

BTW: Zen, how did the Woodland Park clean-up go? (Sorry I couldn't make it - I was helping at a middle school track meet in Florence.)

Wondering what's with the Chris Jordan photo? Check out this link to the photographer's work, which includes shots representing the plastic bottles, cell phones, guns and other stuff we toss each day. Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words...


zen said...

We had 145 volunteers show up, and overfill a huge 20yd construction dumpster. Absolutely staggering haul. A great victory. But also a big let down.

No doubt things are a lot better than they used to be in Woodland Park, especially near the high school where in years past it seemed like not a single kid knew what a trash can was.

That has changed with recent educational efforts in the schools (most notably in the elementary schools), as well as the success of the "Adopt A Spot" program, where local families, groups, school clubs, etc adopt a small section of town and agree to pick it up at least 2 times a year. They fill the bags, the city hauls them away.

Each adopted area is also marked with a personalized street sign recognizing the adopting group. Perhaps you get get a similar program going in Manitou?

The educational campaign is working in the schools, but WP still needs to learn how to extend that effort to area residents and businesses as well.

Much the trash that accumulates in our area is simply the result of improperly stored trash at residences and businesses alike.

With that in mind here are some tips...

Residential trash must be stored in cans with lids. Bags should not be put out on the curb - crows and ravens will shred them. Trash should only be put out the DAY of pickup and never the night before. Take pride in your property and keep it picked up. Set an example for your neighbors.

Commercial dumpsters should be stored in clean, well maintained enclosures. Dumpster lids should be closed when not in immediate use. A clean property attracts more customers. Take time to look all around your business property - parking lot, ditches, fence lines included, and get in the habit of picking it up.

And finally, if you recreate in our mountains, please don't dump your trash in fire pits. And always secure loads in pickup beds and on trailers with tarps and ropes. If you're a hiker consider carrying a grocery bag with you and collect any trash you find on the trail. The forest service doesn't have the time, money or staff to maintain them. It is up to us.

That enough info, Dena? :0)


zen said...

PS - Thanks for picking up Red Rocks and Manitou Ave. Your fellow travelers appreciate you.

Dena Rosenberry said...

As always, great suggestions. Too bad you have to hold trash clean-ups, but it's good to know the community's behind you.

My son set out recycle cans at last year's Labor Day art fest. Perhaps he can do that at the weekly farmers market. And the adopt-a-block idea is good, too.

zen said...

If you want to talk about it, or have any questions email me at I've been doing the litter thing for a long time, and would be happy to share what I've learned.

We live in a phenomenal place. I like you hate to see it so carelessly trashed. But I also know there are a lot of great people out there who join us in that sentiment. Believe me - a little organization can go a very long way.

Teleken said...

It's not just the trash, people need to clean up after their dogs too. If their dog goes 10 feet off the trail I don't mind, but when they go on the trail, c'mon people get it out of the way.

Dena Rosenberry said...

The first half mile of Hogback at Red Rock is a mine field! Just let your dog wander off trail a bit, for pete's sake.

Anonymous said...

Another area that I feel is in need of attention is a section of The Front Range Trail. The stretch of trail near the entry point of South Nevada up to an including the route by WalMart heading toward 8th Street. There are two trash cans located on this stretch of trail and are usually at least half full. However; the litter surrounding the area is very depressing, especially since the location is considered a trail. I have thought of the idea of creating an "Adopt A Spot" however; I really do not know many people or know how to go about recruiting volunteers. I sure would love to create one for this part of the Front Range Trail because, it is in need of attention!


zen said...

Hey Tim - I would contact Keep Colorado Springs Beautiful (KCSB)- to discuss your idea. I am sure they'd love to talk to you!

Another contact would be Trails & Open Space Coalition -

You can also email me at

Dena Rosenberry said...

Zen, you are the best!

I have to get down to MS City Hall soonest and talk about the clean-up efforts. ANOTHER bag of trash this morning. Full in 1 mile.