Denver Cruisers' solution to its trash problem: Pick up your garbage!
More folks are putting on costumes and cycling with the Denver Cruisers on Wednesday nights -- creating a trash problem that has become a bit of a headache for the city's Parks and Recreation Department. And if they don't come up with a way to clean up their act, it could be difficult for the group to maintain its weekly fun in Civic Center Park.
For you Denver Cruisers devotees, fear not! Reps from both the Parks department and the Denver Cruisers say that they are working well with each other and that the problem is getting better. In general, though, it's costly to clean up the garbage on Thursday mornings, and both parties agree that the event needs to come up with a way to create less of a mess.
"We really tried to educate people about leaving no trace," says Brad Evans, a founder of Denver Cruisers. "But that's just impossible with a group this size.... The ride gets bigger and the trash gets larger."
Evans says he really just wants folks to be more respectful and take out what they bring in, especially when it comes to Civic Center Park -- a regular stop on most Wednesdays.
This morning's e-mail blast from the group features a link that tells people the event is a "trash free zone" alongside a semi-desperate plea for folks to be mature and clean up after themselves.
"It is somewhat embarrasing to get a call from P&R dept. that the park was still left a mess after having personally picked up bag after bag of your litter. It is baffling that adults cannot understand the basic notion of PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT. If this behavior continues, and you don't each step up and make a difference, you can kiss the COD goodbye," the note says. (COD refers to what the Cruisers call "Circle of Death" where they, you know, ride in circles in the park).
At tonight's event, which has a "Space Invaders" theme, Evans says that for the first time, he is bringing in a truck to help haul out trash at the end of the night. He thinks that should help with the situation, which Martin Flanigan, operations supervisor with Parks and Recreation, says was pretty bad at the beginning of this season thanks to plastic glitter, beer cans and bottles, some of them glass -- which are against park rules. For that reason, the department was forced to assign four employees for four hours to clean up after the Cruisers. That's a modest but significant financial drain on the department, he says.
Flanigan is confident the department won't have to ban the Cruisers from Civic Center Park on Wednesdays. Even so, he's given the group warnings that the trash situation needs to improve -- and Evans feels the same.
Page down to read more about the Denver Cruisers' trash problem.