Decades of debris: Volunteers clean up old city dump at Snow Canyon State Park

Volunteers clean up glass and other trash at Paradise Canyon in Snow Canyon State Park, Ivins, Utah, Sept. 6, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Kristen Comella, St. George News

IVINS — Dixie Sunrise Rotary volunteers and their family members convened Saturday morning at the southeast corner of Snow Canyon State Park and collected approximately 100 pounds of broken glass, metal, roof shingles and other pieces of garbage. The property was formerly a dumping ground for St. George residents, and garbage found there dates back decades.

The cleanup has been a joint project between the Friends of Snow Canyon and the Dixie Sunrise Rotary since about 2003, when the piece of property became part of Snow Canyon State Park. This was the fourth cleanup effort in the last eight months, Snow Canyon State Park Manager Kristen Comella said.

“We were aware of the old city dump at the base of the cliff when the property was purchased,” Comella said. “At first, we went down and were pulling out old cars and old washing machines. Up along the rim there were fields of broken glass.”

Before this property became part of Snow Canyon State Park, it was used as an area dump for the City of St. George, Comella said. At first, she said, the thought of cleaning up the area seemed overwhelming, but through the years many volunteers have come together and the heaps of garbage have begun to dwindle.

“Sometimes we have contests to see who can find the weirdest piece of garbage,” Comella said. “One time, we found stacks of newspapers from 1959. So far nothing toxic has been found.”

During each cleanup effort, volunteers are directed to focus on cleaning up a certain material, such as glass or aluminum, and then the recyclable products are taken to Rocky Mountain Recycling, located at 838 N. 1080 East in St. George.

Comella said she expects there will be one more group cleanup effort focusing on broken glass, and then they will bring a dump truck in to scrape up the dregs.

“We hope to have this site completely cleaned by the end of this year,” Comella said.

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1 Comment

  • Real Life September 10, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    One of the most beautiful places on the planet and it was used for a landfill. What a shame. Just goes to show that people from yesteryear were not always such good folk.

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