Colorado health official and Routt County representative to visit tire pile

— The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and a representative from Routt County plan to survey the site of a waste tire complaint in South Routt County this week or next.

A Phippsburg resident filed a complaint with the state agency about a tire pile alongside Colorado Highway 131 between Steamboat Springs and Oak Creek in the Oak Creek Canyon.

The tires came from an old junkyard south of Yampa and are being cut for disposal by Saw Wisecup at the parcel in the canyon. Wisecup was contracted by the new owner of the junkyard to dispose of the tires.

Tire piles have inherent dangers, such as providing breeding grounds for mosquitos and presenting fire risks, and the storage and transportation of tires is regulated by the state.

Wisecup previously said there are no plans to store the tires at the site beyond the time it takes to cut and transport them to the landfill in Milner.

Kate Lemon, public information specialist for the Colorado Department of Public Health, wrote in an email that the joint trip with a state environmental protection specialist and a county representative was scheduled for this week but might be postponed because of weather.

The first step, Lemon wrote in a previous email, is to gather more information about the complaint and determine which agency will take the lead on investigating the complaint.

“CDPHE and local governing bodies have dual authority to enforce the solid waste regulations,” she wrote. “With the large volume of complaints received by the CDPHE Solid Waste Program each year, we depend on the assistance of our local partners in conducting solid waste complaint response activities.”

Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger earlier said the county is aware of the complaint and working toward a resolution but does not want to derail the proper disposal of the tires, which have been part of the larger junkyard cleanup issue for decades.

Enforcement mechanisms or penalties for any potential violations are based on many variables, Lemon wrote, and it is too early in the investigation to determine what those could be.

“Our main goal would be to get the waste tire pile cleaned up so it poses no risk to public health or the environment,” she wrote.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz

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Community comments

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(Scott Wedel) Scott_Wedel says...

BTW, Twin Enviro at the Milner dump is a state registered waste tire end user.

Posted 2 December 2013, 5:12 p.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

"...Tire piles have inherent dangers, such as providing breeding grounds for mosquitos and presenting fire risks..." So are dead forests and the lack of DDT, butthat didn't stop the gubbamint from outlawing DDT and allowing the beetles to kill our forests...<P> "The first step, Lemon wrote in a previous email, is to gather more information about the complaint and determine which agency will take the lead on investigating..." So many agencies, so few complaints... Who says we aint got enough gubbamint???<P>I would submit that anyone who is appalled at the lack of incentive to properly dispose of waste take a serious look at the dump fees being assesed by the Milner Landfill. Their rates are, well... government-like... and they've skt-rocketd in the last year or so.<P>Does the County have any jurisdiction over the landfill and the ridiculous rates they charge?<P>Are they aware of the Gestapo-like treatment people recieve up on that smelly hill? <P>Signs stating, "Rates doubled for uncovered loads"... etc. What makes them the enforcement arm for the CSP???<P>Why would anyone want to take waste to a place where such jackwagons reign supreme?<P>Make it easy and cheap for people to do the right thing instead of subjecting them to these power-crazed nitwits or stop acting surprised when stuff piles up elsewhere...

Posted 2 December 2013, 9:31 p.m. Suggest removal

(Cresean) crash says...

Allied waste off Hwy 93 is about $75.00 for one pick up load. More for trailers. They charge also by weight not just square footage. They will not accept uncovered loads. This is to keep trash from blowing out as you drive to the landfill..Milner also offers recycling dump for things like appliances.
Elsewhere you would have to specificaly search out a company offering that service and is quite expensive.

Posted 3 December 2013, 12:32 p.m. Suggest removal

(Harvey Lyon) stirrinuptrouble says...


Your Government is tripling the cost of transporting Coal Ash, not because its caused any issues in the last 50 years but because they can and make Coal Energy more well as concrete, steel and all the good things that come from Coal Ash. Long live wind mills and Man of LaMancha.

The Obama Admin is also reducing by 1000% the emissions allowed by a lead factory. Making it totally non economical to smelt lead in the US (save for military smelters). This is their way of bringing gun control to the US......make ammunition non affordable.

For the first time in my life I have to say that the President and his Party have become sleezy bastards.

My only salvation is that their (his) lack of education and experience, ......and naiveity, will force so many people and businesses out of business that none of their plans will come to pass. Rather than bringing the poor to middle class he'll bring the middle class to poor.....and be proud of it.

When are people going to wake up and smell his funk?

Posted 2 December 2013, 10 p.m. Suggest removal

(Scott Wedel) Scott_Wedel says...


Well there was the coal ash that washed down a river near Kingston Tenn and destroyed a bunch of houses.

The whole idea of a smelter closing to drive up the cost of lead to then be a backdoor means of gun control is fundamentally stupid. For it to have the slightest credibility then the price of lead would have increased with news of closing the smelter. But lead is a worldwide commodity that was not affected by the closing of a US smelter. Anyway, far more of the US lead production has been from recycling batteries and such than smelting.

It is also fundamentally stupid to suggest that the cost of lead could make ammo too expensive. Lead sells as a commodity for 93 cents a pound. The amount of ammo that has a pound of lead costs far more a couple of dollars. Did ammo become too expensive in 2007 when it cost nearly $2 a pound?

Posted 3 December 2013, 10:24 a.m. Suggest removal

(Martha D Young) marthalee says...

One person complains about a temporary pile of tires being cut up to be taken to the land fill and now it's a state-level issue? Saw and Noreen are cleaning up a decades old mess. Where's the sense in all this?

Posted 3 December 2013, 6:56 a.m. Suggest removal

(Scott Wedel) Scott_Wedel says...

Somebody in Phippsburg decided to throw a wrench into the works. He posted that he wanted it stopped and for state regulations to be followed to the letter of the law.

The state has rules on tire hauling to try to prevent someone from creating a troublesome tire pile. Near Montrose some guy has 20,000 or so tires illegally stored in a gully. Last summer a thunderstorm washed 1,000 of those tires into the river and now the state is trying to get that tire pile cleaned up.

Unfortunately the state regulations are written to better handle the typical situation of tire retailers regularly getting their used tires properly hauled away. The regulations do not nicely handle this situation of a modest junkyard also with tires. The cost of becoming a state registered tire hauler for a small one time job is prohibitive.

The really stupid part of Maynard's complaint is that Saw regularly hauls cars and other junk from where they had been illegally dumped. Saw is part of the solution, not the problem.

Posted 3 December 2013, 9:08 a.m. Suggest removal

(Cresean) crash says...

It is an old mess that should have been cleaned up a long time ago. It is nice to see that someone is trying to get it done. The canyon went through a clean up yrs ago to get rid of most the left over mining junk left behind from the day. It brightened up the drive which was once an eyesore of old mineing equipment left behind.
NOW we have to peer off the road and see someone elses junk litter the canyon floor. One of those trash heaps has finaly been cleaned up but what about the other that sits on a water source all of us drive by every day.
I cant be the only one that talks out loud in my car everytme I drive by it.
I have always kept quiet regarding this matter because of who the property belongs to but maybe who ever this person is from Phippsburg who complained will have started more people to voice there opinion instead of ignoring it.

Posted 3 December 2013, 10:19 a.m. Suggest removal

(john bailey) jcbailey says...

bingo ,Cresean, no need for anyone to keep their mouth shut, speak up. We all have a voice lets hear it.

Posted 3 December 2013, 4:34 p.m. Suggest removal

(Tricia Nickerson) buggedbybattles says...

mark - who are you calling a jackwagon?? I work at the Milner Landfill and we are subject to state regulations. Did you know that it is a LAW for all loads to be covered? How much do you charge at your business? It costs a lot to run a landfill...taking into consideration cost of equipment, regulators, employees, construction, staying in compliance, and much more. Obviously you find it easier to name call and whine then think.

Posted 3 December 2013, 6:50 p.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

Pat, It's not "private industry". You are not that ignorant. The vast majority of the trash along the roads comes off the standard trash trucks and from individuals throwing stuff out their car intentionally. And if that's a problem CSP should act on that.<P> Do your homework concerning the pine bark beetles. Where there was logging, beetles didn't explode. Patches of forest that have young trees survived while the prized "old growth" stuff that should have been at the sawmill fell victim. Where logng was banned by USFS the beetles exploded into an epidemic. The USFS, cooperating with the Environmental religious zealots, gave the beetles a "beach-head" they would never have had if logging operations would have been widely allowed.<P> Tricia,<P>What were the tipping rates 2 years ago vs what are they now?<P>At my business I charge as much as I possibly can. But when that price gets freakin ridiculous someone else can offer the same service cheaper and say "screw you, Mark". Can folks do that vis a vis the landfill? No, they can not.<P>Why do I have to cover a load of TIRES? Are they gonna blow off my truck? How 'bout a load of boulders or scrap concrete? Is that gonna blow away? But I have been chastized for not having thousand pound chunks of concrete covered... NOT because it mattered, but because you jackwagons enjoy the power.<P> And even if concrete or tires or 20" diameter cottonwood logs WERE going to blow away what what business is it of YOURS up on the hill 2 miles from the road? Puts you in law enforcement, and you king of get off on that authority, no??<P>When you got the scales set up rates jumped, no??<P> Charge whatever you want and justify it any way you wish. But don't expect people to beat a path to a landfill when they can leave the tires in the canyon for nothing.

Posted 3 December 2013, 8:26 p.m. Suggest removal

(Jim Kelley) jksparky says...

I think Pat's Point is: What is your Point Mark?
You continually make absolutely no sense. You say you are anti "gobbamint" but then immediately follow with: "does the county have jurisdiction over the landfill and the ridiculous rates they charge?" You can't have it both ways here Mark, do you want the county to control, regulate and fix rates or do you want the free market to set rates? Like Pat mentioned, you do have options. If you feel that Milner is price gouging why don't you open up your own dump and charge less. I will be the first to bring my uncovered trash over to your cheap place and even help you spread it all over your place!
As for your misguided opinion that this same government you wish to run our local dump also caused the beetle kill in the area by not logging enough and not allowing DDT use, please explain further. Did you know the only thing that used to keep catastrophic beetle kill epidemics in check was severe cold? Like 40 below, three or four days in a row cold. Guess what?---we don't get many of those anymore, know why? The worst hit beetle-kill area in Colorado has been in Grand County. The most logging in Colorado in the past 50 years is Grand County. Oh those damn facts! Of course, I guess if we would have logged all the forest out around here the beetles wouldn't have had any place to go so you make a good point: No forest= no beetle kill. Brilliant! Of course DDT is an efficient pesticide but it kills birds. No spin here, just fact. There is a very good reason that it is outlawed now. As soon as it's use ceased, the Bald Eagle numbers quickly came back, same with all birds. Simple relationship here Mark, not spin.
Yeah DDT! Wipe out the Forest! Government controlled landfill! Uncover your trash!
Keep making "sense" Mark. It's quite amusing.

Posted 3 December 2013, 11:02 p.m. Suggest removal

(Rick Pighini) screwpolicious says...

Genius, you got that beetle thing all figured out. As a matter of fact you've got it all figured out. Mark for grand poobah. We wouldn't of needed all those scientists if we only had this forum. It's a wonder people still use you for work. Time will tell. Virginia is calling. We should of cut all the trees down before the beetle that would of done it. Obliviously gov't didn't spend too much money on education in Virginia. Yee ha.

Posted 3 December 2013, 10:18 p.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

Jim,<P>"The worst hit beetle-kill area in Colorado has been in Grand County. The most logging in Colorado in the past 50 years is Grand County. Oh those damn facts! " <P>By that logic one could say that firefighters cause fires because the greatest concentration of firemen appears to be at the scene of fires. <P>The proper question (it seems to me) would be how much infestation occurred in old growth vs recently logged AND was it the old growth or the recently logged areas that gave the beetles the boost they needed to rise to epidemic proportions.<P>How much good did it do to protect the trees? what good are they doing mankind now? If they had been cut they could have built some affordable housing instead of rotting.<P>I wasn't asking the gubbamint (and it's with a "U" not "O" : g-u-b-b-a-m-i-n-t) to step in; I was saying that the same gubbamint that wants the tires cleaned up is probably, to some degree, in charge of a landfill where rates have seemed (at least to me) to have increasedAND that if one wants a spotless world one would make landfills CHEAPER and EASIER to access. I konw that probably makes no sense to you... what more can I say?<P>Rick,<P>If we HAD cut the trees down we would have at least got some use from them. As it stands now what have we? A freakin mess of a forest that the USFS, ski areas, etc have had to spend untolled millions protecting campgrounds, etc from falling trees. Instead of having logging companies pay US for the trees, taxpayers are paying THEM to remove worthless trees. In total YES, it would have been much better to have cut down the damned trees before they fell over... just like any other crop.

Posted 4 December 2013, 7:24 a.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

Many claim that we could not have stopped the pine-beetle epidemic; that it was beyond our control and that nature, good or bad, ran it's course. <P>Personally, I believe most of those are people who wish to deny their responsibility for influencing USFS polict toward NOT cutting timber. <P>The thing I find ironic is that many (not all... many) of those same folks who say we couldn't have prevented the beetles with logging, pesticides, etc are the same folks who would have us believe in global warming and have us believe that we can effect global atmospheric change.<P>Can't stop an itty bitty beetle but we can affect global atmospheric conditions and make the oceans recede. Yeah, and I'm the "genius"...

Posted 4 December 2013, 7:33 a.m. Suggest removal

(Rick Pighini) screwpolicious says...

Ha ha ha ha if only we were all like you wouldn't that be a good world to live in. What about logging trucks driving beetle kill trees all over Colorado. Any relationship genius.

Posted 4 December 2013, 8:10 a.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

Stop worrying about the beetles, you can't stop them. Focus on things you can change like the atmosphere of the entire earth.

Posted 4 December 2013, 9:35 a.m. Suggest removal

(Tricia Nickerson) buggedbybattles says...

Actually 2 years ago the landfill charged by the cubic yard. The state required the new scale to be put in. After the scale was installed standard pick up load prices were established and in many cases the old price was actually higher. I work in the office so no I don't "chastise" anyone nor do I "get off" on any kind of power trip. We are just doing our job and of course it is our business if someone spills a load two miles down the road. We have employees picking trash on all of County Rd 205. Landfill workers do not decide on the price assessed on the tipping fees. We are not law enforcement we are responsible.

Posted 4 December 2013, 10:41 a.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

If you work in the office and don't chastise me then I wasn't referring to you, Tricia. I guess you could say "If the wagon fits, wear it, Jack". <P>We disagree on how and what is "your business". While I understand the sentiment (and share it) that we don't want trash all along our highways, I do no believe that entitles one to use a monopolistic situation to punish people for crimes one believes were comitted elsewhere.<P>In fact, one could argue that the "fines doubled" rule is the landfill being not only the police, but the jury and judge; finding people guilty of said crime and sentenancing them right then and there on the spot without a trial. There is, after all, no absolute way of proving that my load was not covered when I turned into the landfill.<P>Furthermore, if this is an acceptable way to enforce traffic laws then why not have gas stations charge more for vahicles they catch driving up in the morning with frost on their windshield? Isn't that a violation? Why not have the landfill check all the garbage trucks' tail lights and double the landfill charges for non-functioning blinkers, etc?<P>My main original point was that if we want everything nasty brought to the landfill, then that can be encouraged by charging LESS, not MORE, and by harrassing people LESS, not MORE. Better for a man to bring old tires to the landfill UNCOVERED that for him to bury them in Oak Creek Canyon, no??? Just THINK, folks.

Posted 4 December 2013, 7:07 p.m. Suggest removal

(Tricia Nickerson) buggedbybattles says...

Milner is not the only landfill that has the double charge rule, many in Colorado do.
maybe you could start your own landfill.

Posted 4 December 2013, 11 p.m. Suggest removal

(Scott Wedel) Scott_Wedel says...

It is the landfill's prerogative to set their policies. If a gas station wishes to charge double for those driving vehicles they consider to be in poor condition then that would be their choice. People would just go elsewhere. The dump, by having that policy, is stating that uncovered loads are not welcome, but they will accept it for an extra charge so that next time the load will be covered. The landfill concluded that requiring their customers use a tarp to cover their trash loads to the dump is not a particularly difficult burden on their customers. there is no obvious reason why someone cannot cover their load of trash being brought to the dump.

Why are uncovered loads not welcome? Because trash can blow off and they don't want the roads near the dump to have obvious large amounts of trash.

Posted 5 December 2013, 11:58 a.m. Suggest removal

(rhys jones) highwaystar says...

I guess I'm a newbie, or maybe I missed school that day, but I must confess, this forum represents my first exposure ever to the term "jackwagon." At first I thought maybe it carried wayward Mormons, or perhaps the Devil's potion Daniels, but now I see its proper use is analagous to a shoe. Interesting.

Posted 5 December 2013, 12:28 p.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

Maybe someone other than a cop ought to stop Pat the next time Pat is speeding and dole out whatever punisnment they see fit!

Posted 5 December 2013, 2:20 p.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

Glad you understand, Rhys.

Posted 5 December 2013, 2:23 p.m. Suggest removal

(john bailey) jcbailey says...

so what your saying is dumbing your xit in the far off canyons is discouraged? hum...Rhys. you never heard of R. Lee Ermey ? ya jackwagon.......LOL

Posted 5 December 2013, 4:13 p.m. Suggest removal

(John Fielding) JohnFielding says...

Many loads get covered right after turning off US 40, that way the cover does not have to be secure against highway speed winds.

Posted 6 December 2013, 10:15 a.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

Right you are, John... including some of mine.<P>Thank you, Pat for the Jackwagon examples. Very educational. I did not know about the military history.

Posted 6 December 2013, 5:39 p.m. Suggest removal

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