All posts by Barb Smerkar

County, city team up to combat dumping

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.

Read Entire Article

Trash troubles in Centralia

The News Station WNEP – CENTRALIA, Pa. — Centralia is the latest community to fall victim to illegal dumping as piles of garbage are being dumped throughout the community.
A mine reclamation group wants to raise awareness and stop it from happening again.
Fewer than a dozen people currently call Centralia home, but many more visit the community daily. While most just bring their cameras to capture memories of Centralia and its underground mine fire, lately, some people are bringing garbage and lots of it.

Read Entire Article

More than 40 tires dumped on Lancaster County road: police

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.

Go to News Article

Down in the dumps: Poconos seeing rash of illegal dumping

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.”

Read Entire Article

Damage to state forest, state parks increased through stay-at-home period

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.

Read Entire Article

Illegal Dumping on the Rise in Pennsylvania: Report it to Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful

(April 29 2020) – Since stay at home orders were issued on April 1 due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has received 73 reports identifying illegal dumpsites in 35 different counties across the state. Fourteen percent of the sites are located on state park, state forest, or game lands.

The 73 reports make up 70% of the reports received by the organization so far this year. The increase in dumping could be a result of temporary suspension of trash hauling and recycling services citing worker safety and other limitations. Bulky waste pick-ups and special collections of electronics, tires and appliances have also been postponed until late summer or fall, increasing the problem.

The most frequent item reported was household trash, which was found at 47 sites, followed by tires at 31 sites. Other items reported were appliances, electronics and building supplies, such as demolition and construction waste.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, a statewide nonprofit, is asking Pennsylvania residents to help locate and report illegal dumping and/or graffiti as part of their Illegal Dump Free program at https://illegaldumpfreepa.org/report-it/.

“Litter and dumped trash poses a threat to the environment as well as to those who clean it up. Documenting illegal dumpsites is a critical step in educating people about illegal dumping on our lands and waters and ultimately in helping to restore the natural beauty of our state. Please be a good steward and if you see an illegal dumpsite, report it,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.

Dumpsite information will be logged and shared with local enforcement authorities, as well as local affiliates, state agency partners and other partners. Photos can be included in the report. Contact information of those reporting a site will be kept confidential.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful also offers a security camera loan program to curb illegal dumping by exposing those who commit this crime. The program offers three concealable, lockable cameras and accessories that capture usable, conviction-worthy footage of license plates and illegal dumpers – even at night. For more information visit https://www.keeppabeautiful.org/illegal-dump-free-pa/ or contact Rob Dubas at rdubas@keeppabeautiful.org or 724.836.4121 ext. 107. The program is available to municipalities, state agencies and nonprofit organizations.

“With the help of Pennsylvania residents we can document what’s out there and reduce the amount of new dumping. We also want to reassure our volunteers that we are busy planning and preparing for the post-pandemic cleanups that are sure to come once restrictions are lifted. We’ll have a lot of catching up to do,” said Reiter.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Pick Up Pennsylvania, in support of the International Coastal Cleanup is tentatively planned for September 1 through November 30. Information on the availability of cleanup supplies and supply distribution details will be communicated as they become available. Registration will tentatively open on August 1 at www.keeppabeautiful.org.

Last spring, 7 million pounds of trash and recyclables and 19,082 tires were removed from Pennsylvania roads, trails and waterway through the Pick Up Pennsylvania spring program.

Anyone wishing to support future cleanups can make a donation on our website by clicking on Donate Now or by contacting Barb Christner, Director of Development at bchristner@keeppabeautiful.org or 724.836.4121, ext 114.

###

About Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s mission is empowering Pennsylvanians to keep our communities clean and beautiful.  Since 1990, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and its volunteers have removed over 147 million pounds of litter from Pennsylvania’s roadways, greenways, parks, forests, and waterways. To learn more about Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, visit www.keeppabeautiful.org.   

See Press Release

Keep PA Beautiful: Illegal Dumping On The Rise In PA, Report It On Special Webpage

PA Environment Digest Blog -Since stay at home orders were issued on April 1 due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has received 73 reports identifying illegal dumpsites in 35 different counties across the state.
Fourteen percent of the sites are located on state park, state forest, or game lands.
The 73 reports make up 70 percent of the reports received by the organization so far this year. The increase in dumping could be a result of temporary suspension of trash hauling and recycling services citing worker safety and other limitations.
Bulky waste pick-ups and special collections of electronics, tires and appliances have also been postponed until late summer or fall, increasing the problem.
The most frequent item reported was household trash, which was found at 47 sites, followed by tires at 31 sites. Other items reported were appliances, electronics and building supplies, such as demolition and construction waste.

Report It
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, a statewide nonprofit, is asking Pennsylvania residents to help locate and report illegal dumping and/or graffiti as part of their Illegal Dump Free program.
“Litter and dumped trash poses a threat to the environment as well as to those who clean it up. Documenting illegal dumpsites is a critical step in educating people about illegal dumping on our lands and waters and ultimately in helping to restore the natural beauty of our state. Please be a good steward and if you see an illegal dumpsite, report it,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.
Dumpsite information will be logged and shared with local enforcement authorities, as well as local affiliates, state agency partners and other partners. Photos can be included in the report.
Contact information of those reporting a site will be kept confidential.
.

Officials: Increase In Vandalism, Littering At Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

DailyVoice.com -Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area officials are seeing an increase in the number of illegal dumping and vandalism incidences throughout the park in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

A total of 13 incidents of vandalism have been reported at the park so far this year, which include breaking windows and doors, cutting locks, marking graffiti and causing other property damage — up from just two incidents during the same period last year, officials said in a Facebook post Thursday.

Several incidents of household trash being dumped in the park, including furniture and building supplies, have also been reported, officials said.

“These incidents damage park resources and they take staff away from other important duties that serve the public,” the post read.

Read Entire Article

Rangers see increase in vandalism, illegal dumping at Delaware Water Gap

wnep.com – PIKE COUNTY, Pa. — Sofas tossed by streams, household construction debris dumped in the woods, and windows broken.

These are just a few examples of the vandalism park rangers and visitors at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area have been seeing and snapping pictures of over the past month.

All of this is happening during a time when national parks are one of the few places people can enjoy because so much is closed during the coronavirus outbreak.

“I’m just totally devastated to hear this because this is the most beautiful place in the world,” Lauryn Deleeuw of Lords Valley said.

Park officials said over the past month they’ve had to deal with 13 reports of vandalism. By comparison, during the same time last year, there were only two cases of vandalism.

“I think it’s a sign of the times, though. It’s definitely the virus and everything else. People are bored,” Deleeuw said.

In a post on social media, rangers reported that some people were even throwing out their own household trash at bins in the park. That was quickly cleaned up.

Read Entire Article

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful providing residents with an option to report illegal dumping that is on the rise due to Covid-19

South Pittsburgh Reporter -As an unintended consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, state parks, state forests, game lands and communities are seeing an increase in littering, including personal protective equipment such as gloves, wipes, and masks as well as an increase of larger items being dumped.

If you come across an illegal dumpsite, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful wants you to report it as part of their Illegal Dump Free PA Program, https://illegaldumpfreepa.org/report-it/.

Dumpsite information will be logged and shared with local enforcement authorities, as well as local affiliates and state agency and other partners. Photos can be included in the report. Contact information of those reporting a site will be kept confidential. You can also report graffiti through this online form.

Documenting illegal dumpsites is a critical step in educating people about illegal dumping on our lands and waters and ultimately in helping to restore the natural beauty of our state which is a priority for Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and our many partners.

Read Entire Article