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2003 Town Hall
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SENATOR BRUCE CAIRNS
January 22, 2004 303-866-3432
Contact: Kelley Harp 303-866-3344
SENATOR, COUNCIL PRESIDENT UNITE BEHIND SB 110
Denver - Legislation sometimes makes for strange bedfellows. State Sen. Bruce Cairns, R-Aurora, and Denver City Council President Elbra Wedgeworth, Council District 8, teamed up Thursday to win committee approval on Senate Bill 110.
The bill would make it illegal to transport trash in a vehicle on the highway unless covered with a tarp or other strapping. The cover must prevent any trash from blowing, dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping from the vehicle onto the roadway. The Department of Transportation spends an estimated $5 million annually cleaning trash on the highways.
"Cleaner highways are not only more aesthetically pleasing, but safety must also be considered," Sen. Cairns said. "Trash on the highway creates too many dangerous variables for drivers, and trash can also do significant damage to cars and trucks driving at high speeds."
The city of Denver has already recognized a trash problem in a December 2002 report by the Illegal Dumping Task Force, which was co-chaired by Councilwoman Wedgeworth. While the study did not cite trash in vehicles specifically, it did report that trash not properly disposed adversely affects human health, the environment and the safety of residents.
Councilwoman Wedgeworth testified in favor of the bill Thursday in front of the Senate Transportation Committee, which approved the bill on a unanimous vote.
"I think it's important for Denver to identify and coordinate resources with the state in order to develop awareness of the problem," Councilwoman Wedgeworth said. "The goal for both of us is to stop illegal dumping and mitigate trash problems along our highways. Part of I-70 is in my district, and that's why I wanted to get involved. The trash on the interstate speaks for itself, and I fully support Senate Bill 110."
Sen. Cairns added: "It was a pleasure to work with the Council President and to have her support on this important issue that affects not only Denver, but the entire state. It's amazing the alliances some issues create, and I'll welcome Council President Wedgeworth on my side any time I can."
Along with Denver's Council President, Aurora Public Works Director Darrell Hogan also testified in favor of the bill. Under SB 110, violations would be considered a Class B traffic infraction, punishable by a $15 to $100 fine. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
State Sen. Bruce Cairns represents Senate District 28 which includes South Aurora and portions of Arapahoe County. Cairns is Chairman of the Local Government Committee, Vice Chairman of the Education Committee, and serves on the State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee and the Capitol Development Committee. His address is State Capitol, 200 East Colfax, Denver, CO 80203.