Suspected paint dump spreads fumes in Steamboat townhomes |

Suspected paint dump spreads fumes in Steamboat townhomes

Storm drains used as dumping

Don’t dump it in the storm drain

Routt County residents can take advantage of a paint-recycling program authorized by the Colorado Legislature in 2014 that partners retailers with a nonprofit called PaintCare to collect and recycle all but 2 to 4 percent of unwanted painting at no additional charge.

The program is funded by a state law that imposes small fees on paint purchases, beginning at 35 cents for pints and quarts and increasing to 75 cents for gallons and $1.60 for five-gallon buckets. As a result, people dropping paint off at the recycling program won’t have to pull out their debit cards.

Participating retailers in Steamboat Springs are Ace at the Curve, 2155 Curve Plaza, and Sherwin Williams, 385-A Anglers Drive.

There are some restrictions — the program will reject paint in containers without the original label. For more information, visit

— The apparent chemical dump that affected residents at Mountain Vista Townhomes in Steamboat Springs earlier this month serves as a reminder that grated storm drains lead directly to the environment and, ultimately, the Yampa River.

City of Steamboat Springs Water Resource Manager Kelly Romero Heaney said she and Steamboat Fire Rescue, as well as personnel from the city street and water departments, responded March 2 to the townhouse complex in the Hilltop/Tamarack neighborhood after the fire department received a report of strong odors in the buildings.

"It appears somebody had dumped what was likely stain or lacquer or something into the storm drain … and even though it appears to have been less than five gallons … the vapors were so strong they were able to move back into the building through the foundation drain pipe and were seeping into (the) crawl space."