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The original item was published from 3/26/2019 10:01:00 AM to 5/1/2019 12:00:02 AM.

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City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: March 26, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Spring Scoria Program Sweeps Up More Than Dust Bunnies

Street Sweeper NewsFlash

The city’s street sweepers clean miles of roadways year-round; however, with the arrival of spring, the scrubbing shifts into overdrive during April to tackle wayward scoria which creeps out as the snow melts.

“As the snow recedes this time of year, we’re able to concentrate on collecting the scoria that we weren’t able to reach immediately following a winter storm,” said Streets Superintendent David Van Winkle. “By getting as much up as possible now, we’re able to keep it from making its way into our rivers and air later.”

During this time, the streets division sweeps remaining scoria from the roadways. Residents are asked to help by raking/sweeping out any remaining scoria from their property, including the Right-Of-Way and culverts onto the asphalt shoulder of the road. Please keep in mind that long thin lines of scoria are easier and more efficient for the sweeper to pick up instead of large round piles.

Scoria clean-up is part of the city’s Particulate Matter-10 (PM-10) Air Quality Maintenance Plan, and residents are asked to cooperate by not using this clean-up for other debris. During the past two years (2017 & 2018), the city applied 3,148 tons of scoria while spending 4,321 hours sweeping up 3,789 tons of material. 

Sweeper Guts

The city utilizes two very different sized machines in its sweeping arsenal. The smaller Sentinel Sweeper is an all-season street sweeper while the larger TYMCO DST-6 Regenerative Air Sweeper is a heavy-duty powerhouse with twice the capacity. Both vehicles collect heavy dirt, sand, gravel, and scoria and are able to follow the contours of uneven road surfaces in dry or wet conditions.

As part of its capital plan, a new public works facility is being constructed this summer which will serve as the all-season base for the city’s sweepers. Soon the operator will head to the new indoor space to empty the material, aka ‘grit’ and wash out the hopper. This new process allows the grit to dry indoors before the sediment is hauled away to the Milner Landfill, helping diminish air, water and dust pollution and reducing the chance of it getting into the environment.

“Our scoria program rotates through neighborhoods multiple times during April; however, we’d appreciate a call to the shop to schedule an additional pick up, especially if you have a large amount, so our crews can get to the material faster,” continued Van Winkle.

Commercial contractors or property management companies which provide this service MUST remove the materials themselves. Branches that have been trimmed or trees that have been cut down, as well as other refuse must be disposed of by the resident or a contractor, and should not be placed with scoria. If there are branches within the scoria, the sweepers cannot pick them up.


David Van Winkle, Streets Superintendent, 970.879.1807 or email
Tom Martindale, Streets Supervisor, 970.879.1807 or email
Sheila Weekly, Administrative Assistant, 970.879.1807 or email

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