CDOT to the Rescue: Cleaning Up Trash from Colorado's Roadways

September 18, 2012

Ready for a fun fact?

In 12 months, Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) crews and volunteers picked up 92,273 cubic yards of trash from our beautiful state’s roadways. (One cubic yard is 3 cubic feet, or 33 for you math hounds.)

That sounds like a shocking amount of stuff that falls out either accidentally or on purpose of the cars and trucks we drive in Colorado. I wanted to learn more.

How much is 92,273 cubic yards? According to a trusty calculator I found, it’s enough trash to cover the football field (including the sidelines) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High 46 feet deep. Sadly, that’s a lot of trash.

At this point I know you are asking, “Just what do CDOT crews find on the side of ‘Colorful Colorado’ highways?” I was wondering that too.

CDOT sent me a list some of the more interesting items their crews and Adopt a Highway volunteers found:

  • Guns – This can’t be good, but I guess it depends on your point of view.
  • Dynamite – Was Wile E. Coyote around?
  • Bag full of $10,000 – Definitely not trash!
  • Naked people – Perhaps they were searching for their clothes?
  •  A whole car engine – This one actually makes sense, but was there a shell of a car nearby?
  • Caribou walking on the side of road on the eastern plains, which is a long way from their typical hang out – I hope they made it home safely.
  •  Box of “Free Weed” – Not sure how “free” or what kind of “weed” it is.

Wondering how you can get involved so that you might find cash and other interesting items along our state’s highways? It’s as simple as this: Get in touch with a CDOT statewide program coordinator and Adopt a Highway!

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