Thanks to our 33 environmentally conscious volunteers and generous sponsors, our fourth annual Trash Crush on June 1 presented by Sun Dog Athletics and the Bull Market Report was a big success and a lot of fun.

We truly crushed it, picking up litter along our most beautiful local roadways and the East of Aspen Trail filling over 20 oversized CDOT bags of trash and almost 10 bags of recyclables. We cleaned up Highway 82 east of town to the winter gate, from the roundabout up Castle Creek Road past the Country Day School, Maroon Creek Road to Aspen Highlands and Highway 82 to Aspen Golf Course.

It’s cause for concern and more importantly time for action when we witness the type and amount of litter along all the roadways as we remove it. One can’t help but wonder how the litter got there, its story. Typically, it comes down to carelessness or recklessness. There are a lot of single-use containers. There’s more litter near the schools and construction sites, a few of our observations.

Pollution is a disease that’s slowly but surely killing Mother Earth like cancer. But, like many types of cancer there’s a treatment and a cure. As a local and worldwide community, we can all be part of the cure through education and action focused on reducing pollution and cleaning up existing pollution.

We’d like to sincerely thank our great group of volunteers, who not only cleaned up our roads and paths, but for sharing the importance and rewards of environmental stewardship. They demonstrated how easy and fun it can be to pick up litter. People who litter do not have ownership of our lands, as they don’t respect or care for them. We take ownership when we care for our pristine backyard. We’d like to acknowledge and thank our volunteers Greg Poschman, Ward Hauenstein, Phyllis and Grafton Smith, Chris Williams, LaRae Cantave, David Heather, Sam and Pete Louras, Bruce Lee, Ned Sullivan, Missy, Bali and River Klug, Coco Sohn, Clay Dahlman, Emily Marshall, Paula Creevey, Molly Ireland, Denise Lock, Lori Kret, Chris McKelvey, Jesse Thompson, Diane Spicer, Tom Cogg, Jim Hague,  Marlene Schroeder, Gretchen Straub and friends Claudia Kirby and Steve Goldenberg on their solo missions for their time and efforts and for spreading our message. Thanks to Samantha Johnson and The Aspen Times and Troy Selby and 520 Grill for sponsoring our event, helping spread the word and hosting a hearty lunch to follow. Thanks to Cathy Hall and Pitkin County Landfill for donating state-of-the-art reusable beverage containers and bamboo-ware for our volunteers. Thanks to Aspen Kayak and SUP and Nick Coates for their kind donations.

In just a few hours, we were able to make a positive difference in caring for nature. Locals and visitors will enjoy the great outdoors even more. If we all picked up just one piece of litter each day, it would make a big difference. Try it. Share it to create the ripple effect and multiplier effect. Cleaning up litter is rewarding and addictive!

Erik Skarvan and Todd Shaver

Co-organizers, fourth annual Trash Crush