Free Dump Day in Nederland

By 7:15 a.m., the line of cars along Ridge Road extended almost as far as the intersection with the Peak to Peak Highway.  Pick-up trucks loaded high with mattresses, construction materials, even old bicycles.  SUVs hauling trailers loaded with colossal television sets, refrigerators and tires.  Even U-haul rented trucks stacked high with what looked like the remains of someone’s basement or attic.  Talk about spring cleaning?  This was a spring cleansing of all things old and moldy, broken and unusable.

What could possibly get so many of Nederland’s residents up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning in June?  Free Dump Day!

In our rural town of 1300 people, most people dispose of trash and recycling at the Nederland Transfer Station, otherwise known as the town dump.  Most of the time, the dump only takes a certain number of items like mattresses or old appliances and it will cost you — up to $60 or more.  And pretty much everyone knows trying to get rid of an old tv of the non flat screen variety is like trying to get rid of the plague — no one will take it, or if they do, it’s going to cost you.  On Free Dump Day, any and all tvs can be brought for free!

The county prepares well for this event, bringing in plenty of staff from nearby Boulder, and it’s very well organized.  True, you have to wait 30-40 minutes for your turn, but then there’s a large truck or dumpster for every kind of junk you might have.  There’s the bed truck, the electronics truck, the dumpster for old furniture, the place for old tires.  The staff sport their colorful vests, answering questions with a smile, and pointing you to the right spot.

They couldn’t have asked for better weather for this mammoth event, as skies were clear, temperatures were warm and the sun shone brightly.  For us personally, our crawl space had become a haven for any kind of broken down item that we wanted to hide from the general public.  My husband donned his respirator mask and gamely cleaned out moldy construction materials, broken porch chairs, tires and other items that he piled into the pickup truck.  For good measure I added one of those gargantuan television sets from my work place that we’d been wanting to get rid of.

Firewise sponsored the event as a reminder for homeowners to clean up their property in preparation for the upcoming wildfire season.   The Firewise Communities Program encourages local solutions for safety by involving homeowners in taking individual responsibility for preparing their homes from the risk of wildfire. It also seems like a good reminder to rid our homes of unnecessary items that can cause health hazards like growing mold, or wood that can provide fuel for fires.

Whatever the reason, what a great opportunity to get rid of a lot of junk in one fell sweep for the best price of all — FREE!