Second homeowners must be part of Grand County’s waste-management equation |

Second homeowners must be part of Grand County’s waste-management equation

Last week, we received a thought-provoking letter to the editor, “Regarding the garbage needs of second home owners.”

The author was writing in response to complaints published in this newspaper about second home owners dumping garbage, illegally, in the Dumpsters of business owners.

This dumping is a crime, called “theft of service.”

It may not seem like a big deal to throw a bag or two in an alley Dumpster, but so many people are doing it as they leave town on Sunday evening that it is creating a noticeable problem for business owners as their bins overflow with the trash of others.

In Winter Park, Fraser and Grand Lake a large percentage of properties are second homes.

In both Winter Park and Grand Lake, a good 80 percent of homes sit empty for a portion of the year. In Fraser, the percentage is closer to 40 percent.

As the trash of these homeowners piles up, in downtowns and parking lots, municipalities and garbage companies are searching for a solution.

The problem is not so simple as instituting mandatory garbage pick up for all homes.

Sure, second home owners can wheel the trash to the curb on Sunday night before they leave. While the bin is full, it sits in the middle of a residential neighborhood as an attraction for bears and other wildlife. Once it is emptied, it will sit on the curb for weeks or months until the homeowner returns ” buried in a snowdrift, blowing down the street during a windstorm or simply sitting as a signal to thieves that the home is empty.

The author of last week’s letter suggested that he would be willing to pay a town, the county or an HOA for the use of a conveniently located Dumpster, put in place for the use of second home owners.

“But where would that Dumpster go?” said Winter Park town manager Dave Torgler.

“We live in a resort community where people have purchased million dollar properties. Whose backyard is that Dumpster going to be in?”

We do not have a solution to this problem.

But, we ask that as leaders and residents continue the discussion about recycling, the subject of second homeowners and their garbage should be remembered as part of the area’s waste-management equation.

Until a solution can be reached, we ask those second home owners who are illegally using Dumpsters, paid for by businesses, to be more respectful of the problems they are creating.

If there is a business you frequent, approach that business owner and ask permission to use their Dumpster, perhaps for a fee.

As leaders brainstorm to solve this problem, this newspaper welcomes your thoughts. If you have a solution to the second home owner trash dilemma, we would like to hear it.

Send your letters to editor Autumn Phillips at or mail them to Sky-Hi Daily News, P.O. Box 409, Granby, CO 80446.

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