GYPSUM, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s land meant for the public to enjoy, and tax dollars keep it maintained, but Eagle County says too many people are using it as a trash dump.

Eagle County officials say the spring time makes it worse.

“It’s really just about taking care of the land … it’s a continual problem, as far as each year,” David Boyd with the Bureau of Land Management said. “We really see a lot more of it as the weather starts warming up and people are out cleaning up their houses.”

CBS4’s Jeff Todd met with Boyd Wednesday afternoon for a type of scavenger hunt, and it took them only a few minutes to find some dangerous trash out open land. While some trash was likely used for target practice, they found an area not used for shooting, and there was nearly everything that could be found in a house.

“We find a lot of vehicles, a lot of different types of furniture,” Boyd said.

Volunteer groups do clean open space places, but it seems they’re severely out-numbered by those who chose to litter.

“We really depend on the public’s help for cleaning up. We have a number of groups that have volunteered adopted areas, and it is amazing how much material they all take out,” Boyd said. “We’re talking tons, literally. When they take it to the dump and weigh it it’ll be tons of trash.”

It’s hard to catch the dumpers, so the government is asking for neighbors to help out and self-police the public’s land.

“We should change the behavior for future generations that, you know, it’s not tolerated,” Todd Belback with Eagle County Code Enforcement said.

“This is really our backyard, so we can use it as a dump site or we can be walking our dogs and riding our bikes,” Boyd said.

It’s obviously not just a problem in the central mountains, but Eagle County stresses that if somebody sees anyone dumping on public land or in the national forest to call the local sheriff’s office.

Eagle County, like many other counties across the state, will let people dump at their landfill for free, with some very generous weight restrictions.


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