ENGLEWOOD, Colo (KDVR) — Neighbors are frustrated over a growing trash problem along the South Platte River Trail in Englewood.
Dave Baugh said the wind gusts constantly pick up trash from the nearby Waste Management facility.
“It’s been going on for years,” Baugh said. “It’s just an unfortunate circumstance that this Waste Management facility is right next to the river, but on windy days a lot of that wind whips up the trash and it ends up right in the river.”
Ellen Chilikas said she rides the trail every week.
“There’s always trash here,” Chilikas said. “It’s a constant irritation.”
The Waste Management facility borders part of the South Platte Trail near Union Avenue and Sante Fe Drive in Englewood. After the windstorm on March 31, Baugh said the trash on the trail was one of the worst it’s ever been.
“It’s just frustrating for it to be a repeated issue here in our community,” Baugh said. “I’ve called in about it, I know a lot of people who use the trail talk about it and how unfortunate it is, but we just really like to see something change.”
In a response to FOX31, a spokesperson with Waste Management wrote, “As part of our daily operations at the transfer station, we conduct a facility walk-around at the beginning and end of the laborers’ shifts to pick up any offsite litter. Additional efforts are on an as-needed basis, such as for wind events.”
Waste Management did coordinate with the City of Englewood to pick up the trash following the high winds on March 31.
Baugh said he wants to know what’s being done to prevent it from happening in the future.
“I’d really like to see if they could do something to treat the cause rather than the symptom of just picking it up every time it happens because certainly a percentage of that trash makes its way downstream and affects the environment altogether,” Baugh said.
A Waste Management spokesperson told FOX31 they are in the initial phases of constructing a new facility that could break ground this year that will be enclosed.
The site also has portable wind fences to help capture the windblown litter, but Baugh said it can’t catch it all.