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The Garfield County Environmental Health Department oversees clean up of a homeless camp in Glenwood Springs

Garfield County oversaw cleanup that removed nearly 60,000 pounds of garbage.
Garfield County oversaw cleanup that removed nearly 60,000 pounds of garbage.(KKCO/KJCT)
Published: Jul. 24, 2021 at 7:25 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) -The Garfield County Environmental Health Department oversaw the cleanup of a Glenwood Springs property on the mountainside on the east side of Glenwood Springs that has long been the location of a homeless camp.

Nearly 60,000 pounds of trash, as deep as eight feet in places, was removed, along with numerous shelters from the property.

Garfield County Environmental Health Manager Josh Williams said the amount of trash and steep terrain made the cleanup difficult and at times dangerous. However, no one was injured during the cleanup.

“In some parts of this area there was eight feet of debris; there was trash strewn about everywhere,” said Williams. “We managed to get some heavy equipment up in the initial ravine to help break some of the trash up. The campsites and tarp structures have been removed, and halfway up the mountain there were mattresses and furniture that are now gone.”

Williams also said some of the structures were designed to be more permanent.

Hundreds of small camping propane tanks and 34 five-gallon refillable propane tanks also filled the area. Crews also filled a five-gallon bucker with used hypodermic needles found on the site. It is suspected that people who didn’t live in the camp were also using the site to dump trash.

It took more than 1,000 hours of work to complete the cleanup effort.

“It was definitely a long and hot project,” said ECOS general manager Kris Miller. “We switched up the time people worked from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., to take advantage of the cooler morning hours. Nobody was hostile toward our staff, but there were people up there nearly every single day.”

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