Ever Wonder Who Cleans the Toilets?
The most important job in the park is cleaning toilets--so our visitors have told us. They have also reported finding exceptionally clean facilities. Here's some facts you never knew about Rocky Mountain National Park.
Daily during the summer, the custodial crew cleans 102 toilets in comfort stations and vault toilets at trailheads and along roads. In addition, they clean around 100 toilets in campground comfort stations, about 30 visitor center toilets, and 35 toilets for park staff. That's 267 toilets cleaned every day of the summer!
In 2005 the custodial crew consisted of three year-round staff members (two were full-time and one worked part-time). During the summer, the park hires as many as 11 more full-time people. Considering the park has three million visitors a year, each "position" serves 428,000 people. (Now that's what I call efficient!) By the way, you can volunteer with the custodial crew any time of the year.
That's not all! The custodial crew also takes care of our trash, empties our dumpters, picks up roadside cans and litter, and manages our recycling. About 2800 cubic yards of trash are removed from the park each year.
In 2004, the park completed the replacement of roadside vault toilets. Your park entrance fee paid for the new facilities--39 total. In 2005, the park began remodeling comfort stations in campgrounds.
Did you know the park has solar, conposting toilets in the backcountry? You can visit them at the Boulderfield on Longs Peak (there are two there), at Chasm Meadow, at Chasm Junction and at Gem Lake. There are park employees who spend as much as 75% of their time during the summer hiking with two llamas to the toilets to shovel them out (and pack out the waste).
Last fact: the park uses more than 1800 miles of toilet paper per year.
Did You Know?
The Nerd Herd (aka research volunteers) gave more than 4,500 hours to the park in 2009. These citizen scientists help monitor the health of our resources including bears, elk, plants, hummingbirds, glaciers, and butterflies. More...