New Castle News -Lawrence County and the City of New Castle have joined forces in the fight against illegal dumping.
“Dumping has been a long-standing problem for most municipalities across Pennsylvania,” said Jerry Zona, director of recycling and solid waste for Lawrence County.
Last year, code enforcement supervisor Patrick McGuire approached Zona about the prospect of borrowing some of the county’s cameras to set up around the city to catch people dumping.
Recently, though, McGuire learned the ins-and-outs of the cameras and they were installed.
“It’s a good partnership,” Mayor Chris Frye said, who noted he agreed with McGuire to approach the county about the collaboration.
On May 16, the new surveillance system caught a man in a white pickup truck dumping on the side of a road on the city’s West Side.
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Penn Live Patriot News – Police are looking for the person who dumped 43 used tires in West Earl Township over the weekend.
West Earl Township police believe the tires were dumped between midnight and 9 a.m. Sunday, along Miley Road.
The tires created a traffic hazard, police said. Illegal dumping on Miley Road has been an ongoing issue, police said, and the department has increased surveillance of the area.
Anyone with information on the dumping is asked to contact Officer Jeremy Sorensen at 717-859-1411 x115. Callers can remain anonymous. Tips can also be left through the department’s Crimewatch website.
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Pocono Record -Despite the stay-at-home order that has kept Pennsylvanians cooped up for the past month, reports of littering and illegal dumping have increased drastically across the commonwealth, including Monroe County.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful announced last week that since the start of Governor Tom Wolf’s stay at home order on April 1, over 73 incidents of illegal dumpsites across 35 counties have been reported, making up 70% of the year’s total reports in just a month.
According to program director Rob Dubas, by Friday another two incidents had been noted, and more reports were expected over the weekend.
With this leap in littering, many Pennsylvania authorities are looking for answers as to how and why this is happening, and what can be done to tidy up the trash.
LOTS OF LITTER
Dubas and other members of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful speculate that the reduction or suspension of trash and recycling collection services during the COVID-19 pandemic may be partially to blame for the problem.
Household trash is the most frequently reported item at 47 sites, followed by tires at 31 sites.
Bulk waste pickups and special collections for appliances, electronics and buildings supplies — such as demolition and construction waste — which have been pushed off until late summer or fall also add to the issue.
Staff cuts at state parks, forests and game lands — which saw about 14% of the total illegal dumping reports — may contribute to the problem as well.
“It’s been quite the increase,” Dubas said in regard to the uptick in reports. “I think part of that is people are getting out there more and promoting the reporting form, but local trail managers have been telling us that they’ve been seeing an increase in littering in parks, too.”
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Penn Live Patriot News -From illegal dumping of household trash to offense graffiti on landmark rock formations to intentional damage to infrastructure and the environment, state forests and state parks across Pennsylvania have been taking a beating during the coronavirus pandemic and resulting stay-at-home orders.
Confinement orders that allow for socially distanced outdoor recreation in the forests and parks has led to large increases in visitation, which have led to environmental impacts, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
“State forests are experiencing higher incidences of vandalism and illegal activity, such as ATV riding on state forest roads, graffiti, dumping of trash and waste, and removal and damage of gates,” the department noted in its weekly Resource newsletter.
“These illegal activities damage the environment and take away from the natural experience and natural beauty that all forest users have the right to enjoy.”
While no overall tally of the damage has been prepared, Terry Brady, press secretary for DCNR, noted, “Incidence of illegal dumping is up across the state in our state forests. That could be attributed to the belief that DCNR is shut down.”
But rangers and forest district staff are still actively patrolling during the COVID-19 outbreak and will issue citations and prosecute those who are engaged in illegal activity on state forest lands.
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