May 3 editorial | ParkRecord.com

May 3 editorial

Cleanup after severe winter will take patience, ingenuity

Most of the enormous snow walls that lined Park City streets from January through March have disappeared, but the ravages of last winter’s record-breaking snowstorms are still apparent. In many places whole swaths of sidewalk are missing, curbs have crumbled and fence posts are flattened. It is going to take a lot of patience and Yankee ingenuity to restore the town’s resort sheen in time for the summer season.

Throughout Summit County, snowplowing, salting and snow-removal-equipment maintenance decimated public-works budgets, leaving just a shoestring and some pocket change to clean up the mess.

So, for the time being, local motorists may have to tiptoe around the potholes and leave a little extra elbowroom for cyclists dodging rocks and other debris along the shoulder.

Also this spring, the county will not be offering free dumpsters. Though a countywide cleanup is as needed as ever, the once-a-year collection was apparently abused by contractors and others who stored their oversized junk just long enough to take advantage of the once-a-year free pickup. Instead of giving residents an incentive to collect roadside trash, the dumpsters were filled to overflowing with couches and construction waste.

Between high gas prices, hazardous-waste restrictions, shrinking landfill space and already maxed public-works budgets, it is easy to understand why the county had to curtail the free dumpster program. But residents should still make a concerted effort to pick up, sort and cart debris, not only on their own property but also along city and county roadways and trails.

There may be a silver lining to the end of the free-dumpster program. It may prompt people to think about recycling the stuff they normally throw away and perhaps even to think about buying fewer disposable items in the first place.

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