Letter: Trash masters | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Trash masters

We never knew picking up trash could be so fun! Thanks to our awesome volunteers and sponsors, the first annual Trash Crush, in partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Adopt-a-Highway program, was a ton of fun and a smashing success. We literally crushed it, with 21 volunteers filling up 22 oversized orange bags of trash on four popular local roadways in just over two hours. Especially considering that it was our first event ever, and on a weekday morning to boot, we had such a great turnout that we were able to clean up the first few miles from the roundabout up Castle Creek Road and Maroon Creek Road and to the golf course in addition to our goal to clean up along the North Star Nature Preserve. We personally enjoyed cleaning up, with my partner Catherine, along Maroon Creek Road by the schools, which probably had the most litter of all the road sections (noted from my cycling scouting trips). On that note, we’ll be inviting the local schools to take part, as a great opportunity to raise awareness and instill stewardship the next time around.

We realize litter comes from a variety of sources. It was interesting, yet alarming, to witness the type and amount of litter along all the roadways as we removed it. One can’t help but wonder how it got there. It comes down to carelessness or recklessness. It’s like a disease that can take over Mother Earth like a cancer. The good news: We can all be part of the cure through education and effort.

I’d like to thank our community and environmentally minded volunteers, who had not only the chance to nurture the very nature we moved to enjoy but also the opportunity to learn more about the problem of littering our environment up close and personal and some solutions like trying to prevent it to begin with through education. We also raised awareness about how easy it is to rally folks to pick it up when it’s already in the environment. The folks who litter do not have ownership of our lands, as they don’t respect them. We have ownership when we care for our pristine backyard in every way. We’d like to acknowledge and thank Doc Bee, LaRae and Johannah Cantave, Suzanne Clarke, Catherine Cussaguet, Katalin Domaszlay, Rodney Hill , Neil Hillier, Bill Hodges, Heidi Hoffman, Charlie and Riley Macarthur, Greg Poschman and his three young female helpers, Betsy Weil, and Cliff Weiss for their caring, time, effort and spreading of a valuable message. I’d like to also thank Samantha Johnston and her staff at The Aspen Times and Wendy Mitchell and her staff at Meat & Cheese Restaurant for sponsoring our event, including helping spread the word and hosting a delicious, healthy lunch to follow.

In just a few hours, we were able to make a positive difference. Locals and visitors who appreciate our pristine area will now enjoy those areas so much more. With just a little effort, we were rewarded in many ways. We’ll keep you all in the loop for our next Trash Crush event. Even if we all just picked up just one piece of litter each day, it would make a big difference.

Erik Skarvan and Todd Shaver

Co-organizers, Trash Crush 2016

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