Clean-up volunteers pick up 3 large dump trucks worth of trash |

Clean-up volunteers pick up 3 large dump trucks worth of trash

Colorado Division of Water Resources employees (from left) Mendi Figueroa, Ramon Torres, Brian Romig and Luke Fitzgerald cleaned up remains of a vehicle wreck and construction supply spill at U.S. Highway 40 mile marker 141 as part of the office's Adopt-a-Highway duties on May 20 as part of the well-attended countywide clean-up day.
Suzie Romig/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Organizers say 125 volunteers picked up and bagged more than three large dump trucks worth of trash from the sides of streets, roads and highways last weekend for one of the biggest Routt County Clean-Up Day events on record.

“This is the best clean-up day we have had in years,” said Lisa Popovich, executive director at Main Street Steamboat Springs, one of the clean-up organizers.

Popovich said volunteers picked up trash and debris from Milner through Steamboat and half way up Rabbit Ears Pass, on Colorado Highway 131 almost to Oak Creek, on County Road 129 to the Mad Creek parking lot, at the Mount Werner exit ramps, and along Anglers Drive, 13th Street and River Road.

Existing Adopt-A-Highway teams were part of the volunteer efforts on May 20. Colorado Department of Transportation employee Carla Scott, who coordinates the Adopt-A-Highway program in the Northwest Colorado region, said slightly fewer than half of the highway sections in Routt County have been adopted by volunteer teams such as clubs, businesses, youth groups, schools and families to cover 28 adopted sections of 1- or 2-mile stretches.

“It’s just really all part of helping keep our roads and our state safe,” Scott said.

Scott currently is in the process of renewing and recruiting for new road adoption teams. The state agency ideally seeks adoption assistance on 100% of the highway miles, Scott said, and more information is available at

In Moffat County, about 40% of highway miles have been adopted by volunteers, and approximately 38% of highways in the overall five-county area of Routt, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Jackson and Grand counties have been adopted.

Organizers say 125 volunteers picked up the equivalent of three large dump trucks of trash off Routt County roadsides on May 20, 2023,
Suzie Romig/Steamboat Pilot & Today

On Routt County Clean-up Day, an Adopt-A-Highway crew of Division of Water Resources staff in Steamboat Springs representing the Colorado Water Officials Association encountered the remains of an assumed truck crash and spill of construction supplies near Mile Marker 141 below Star Ridge Road. The volunteers picked up many bags of vehicle debris and construction supplies such as heavy-duty bolts and washers.

Scott said any time individuals find crash remains along a state highway, they should call CDOT to ask for a cleanup. CDOT crews may respond when work duties allow, or Adopt-A-Highway volunteers could be asked to help, she said.

Colorado State Patrol Public Information Officer Gabriel Moltrer said that after a wreck, assuming it is reported, a CSP towing company partner responding to the scene is responsible for removing visible wreckage pieces and to “get the road back to traveling condition.” However, privately contacted towing companies or friends that help remove a vehicle after a crash are on their honor to help clean up messes from vehicle accidents. Trooper Moltrer said no laws require cleaning up of wreck debris that is not hazardous materials. The debris pick-up could eventually fall to CDOT employees or volunteers.

Popovich said although this year’s clean-up day was successful, “there’s a lot of opportunities for people to volunteer all summer long” for clean-up and other duties at a myriad of events, races, festivals and Steamboat Springs Farmers Market weekends, which start June 10.

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