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The foothills are awash in piles and piles of slash, and Jefferson County is thrilled to take care of them.
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Jeffco’s SLASH — Sustainable Lands and Safer Homes — program collects and chips slash from residents and takes it to a Denver company called A1 Organics that dyes and sells it. The changes in this year’s slash program are making it wildly successful, according to Jeffco’s Matt Robbins, who is in charge of the program.
“We have seen resounding response, particularly in Evergreen and Conifer,” Robbins said. “We are seeing just a tremendous outpouring of people (dropping off slash), and that shows they get it. They understand the importance of wildfire mitigation, and the slash program is working.”
In past years, slash drop-offs were on weekends and the drop-off locations changed each week. This year, slash drop-off is available generally Thursday through Sunday, and the location remains the same several weeks in a row.
This year, the program is running 23 weeks, and in the first 10 weeks, Robbins said, nearly 5 million pounds of slash have been dropped off. In all of 2021, Jeffco collected about 7 million pounds of slash.
Robbins said people have been patient when they have had to wait in line, and they have followed the rules such as not bringing pine needles or other debris in plastic bags.
Jefferson Conservation District workers are at the drop-off site, and Jeffco employees drive the slash down the hill. It costs $20 per load.
In early August, drop-off was on Settlers Drive along U.S. 285, and workers there said the lot became so full of slash by Sunday that sometimes they had to close early.
“Jeffco is not making a profit, but from where we are sitting, the benefit is the removal of wooded debris off of the foothills and getting it repurposed,” Robbins said.
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