When the snow melts, mountain cleanup begins.
By Adam Bybliw, Vail Mountain Environmental Manager
In mid-June, 453 public volunteers and employees rallied together and scoured Vail’s many Front Side slopes searching for the trash left behind by a winter’s worth of skiing. This year the trash was easily found in comparison to last year when many feet of snow blanketed the runs well into July. Trash pickers were able to hike runs from Blue Ox to Simba, and nearly everything in between. Some brave souls even hiked the Chair 20 lift-line, rode the TOV bus to Lionshead, and caught the Eagle Bahn Gondola back up to Eagle’s Nest in time for lunch!
Not only did they find over 20 cubic yards of trash, they also found many interesting items that gave them a chance to win prizes. A few of the more bizarre items are pictured below, including this year’s “Trashy Award” winner number 9 found by 10 year old Michael from Denver.
For the second year in a row over 300 trash bags used in the cleanup were emptied of their contents and saved for reuse with a local landscaping company. The majority of these bags still have integrity and will be utilized for a second time. Another important facet of the cleanup was to ensure all electronic devices collected were diverted from the Eagle County Landfill. These devices contain heavy metals that can contaminate ground water if disposed of improperly. Devices were collected at an Electronics Recycling receptacle and responsibly recycled.
A huge thank you to all who participated in the cleanup. Each year we collect thousands of pounds of trash and preserveVailMountain’s spectacular natural environment.