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The original item was published from 10/7/2020 12:49:47 PM to 10/19/2020 12:00:03 AM.

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City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: October 7, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Free Mulch Results from Massive Pile of Downed Trees

Free Mulch NewsFlash

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-October 7, 2020-After chipping thousands of tree limbs from the destructive windstorm last month, fresh mulch will be available FREE to the public starting next week. 

“We’re happy to be able to have something good come out of this storm,” said Parks & Recreation Director Angela Cosby, whose department took lead and quickly put together the community program. “A tremendous team effort across city departments turned a pile of tree carnage into something residents will be able to use.”

Beginning Monday, October 12 and running through Sunday, October 18, freshly chipped mulch will be available to residents for pick up in the northwest corner of the Howelsen Rodeo Grounds. City crews will be on hand to help load mulch with machinery on Thursday (10/15) and Friday (10/16) from 8 AM to 4 PM. Otherwise, individuals will need to load mulch themselves during the other days. 

Parks & Recreation crews assembled the material into a roughly 15- to 20-foot high, 50-foot wide and nearly 200-foot long mountain of material consisting of nearly every type of tree found in the Yampa Valley. The Streets department loaded the dropped off material into the large 40-foot long grinder trailer over several days using a powerful excavator and front-end loader.

The city brought in a Vermeer Colorado TG5000 tub grinder to tackle the mountain of limbs, branches and stumps. This specialized machine provides powerful processing through a 540 horsepower Caterpillar engine and spinning duplex drum that pulverizes the material. 

“This machine and our crews made a molehill out of this mountain in just under a week, resulting in an estimated 400 to 500 cubic yards of mulch,” commented Streets Superintendent David Van Winkle. “It was definitely the right machine for this massive job.” 

The city is also providing 80 cubic yards of mulch to Innovative Regeneration Colorado, a local food waste prevention business. The two entities are collaborating on an organic composting pilot project that looks to take some of the 50,000 pounds of food off the plates that goes into the garbage locally. To compost most efficiently, a mix of 50/50 food waste and wood chips is ideal. 

The September 8 storm toppled trees, closed Rabbit Ears Pass and caused numerous power outages across the Yampa Valley. Winds, uncommonly out of the east, gusted to more than 100 mph and rocked the community for most of the day.  


Tom Leeson, Deputy City Manager, 970.871.8249 or email
Angela Cosby, Parks & Recreation Director, 970.871.7017 or email
David Van Winkle, Streets Superintendent, 970.879.1807 or email

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