Rifle annual spring cleanup starts Monday | PostIndependent.com

Rifle annual spring cleanup starts Monday

Ryan Hoffman
A city of RIfle employee moves in on a properly organized pile of garbage in east Rifle during a previous Rifle cleanup.
Sara Flores / Provided |

Cleanup dos and Don’ts

Unacceptable items:

Gas or air cylinders; gas tanks; sealed containers, waster oil; antifreeze; paint; pesticides; paint thineners; liquids of any type; TVs; copiers; computers/monitors; microwaves; tires

Acceptable items:

Brush and tree limbs less than four feet long (must be neatly stacked and tied); wood; metal; furniture, appliances (other than microwaves)


Piles are limited to one pile no greater than five cubic yards per address — no community piles.

Place items curbside no sooner than 72 hours before the scheduled start of cleanup. City crews will not go onto private property to pick up items, which should be kept separate from regular trash containers so as not to interrupt with regular trash service.

Do not place items against walls, fences or in landscaped areas.

Residents living within Rifle’s city limits have the opportunity to rid themselves of some unwanted clutter, free of charge, starting Monday, April 25, when the ninth annual spring cleanup officially starts.

The first stretch of the cleanup will cover the region east of Railroad Avenue and Highway 13, Monday through Thursday. For residences west of Railroad Avenue and Highway 13, as well as those south of Interstate 70, the cleanup will run May 2-5.

Items should be placed curbside by the evening before the start of the cleanup in each region — meaning those living in east Rifle should have items out by Sunday night and those in the west and south should have items out no later than the evening of May 1.

However, the city reminds residents not to put items out too early — those who place items outside more than 72 hours prior to the start of pickup could face a fine.

Last year more than 314,000 pounds of unwanted items were disposed of, according to Sara Flores, Rife community services and code enforcement officer. The popular event is seen as a way to further code enforcement’s mission to improve quality of life in the city.

The Rifle cleanup gets underway as city officials in Glenwood Springs are taking a hard look at their annual cleanup, due to abuse of the program and the unpleasant sight of garbage piled on city streets for weeks, the Post Independent reported. A recent analysis found the Glenwood Springs cleanup costs the city between $100,000 and $135,000.

Acting Glenwood Springs City Manager Andrew Gorgey suggested a possible voucher program that would give residents one free dump at the city’s South Canyon Landfill.

In contrast, the Rifle program has not been subject to the same scrutiny.

Rifle City Manager Matt Sturgeon said the cleanup is well organized and residents, for the most part, respect and follow cleanup guidelines.

During her time with the city, Flores said she has noticed improvements when it comes to putting items on the curb at the appropriate time.

“It’s better, and I appreciate it as the code enforcement officer,” she said

There have been issues in the past with people piling garbage earlier than the allowed time, which led to complaints from neighbors and posed potential safety hazards.

Last year, Flores said she issued more than 35 warnings to people who put TVs — an unacceptable item — out on the curb. Another three of four warnings were issued to people who put out unacceptable fluids, such as motor oil or antifreeze.

This year Columbine Ford has agreed to take up to 5 gallons of used motor oil or antifreeze, according to Flores. Residents can take the fluids to the service department during normal business hours. Contaminated fluids will not be accepted, she added.

For the most part, those who receive warnings are quick to rectify the issue, although Flores issued a reminder that violators can receive a citation for failing to follow the rules.

As for the cost, the city typically pays between $10,000 and $15,000 for expenses such as landfill fees, trucking and other costs, Flores said. The Garfield County Landfill gives the city a reduced rate to aid with the cleanup.

That number does not include city staff labor. The program has been integrated into the regular schedule of city employees and the cost has not been calculated, Sturgeon said. The city usually completes the cleanup in less time than it originally budgets, he added.

For additional information about the cleanup, residents can call 970-665-6525.

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