All posts by Barb Smerkar

Nonprofit, Task Force Targeting Hazelwood Litter

(July 2, 2015) – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette –During the past six months, workers have removed close to 50 tons of garbage from Hazelwood.

It’s part of a more encompassing initiative by Allegheny Cleanways, a nonprofit organization, to end illegal dumping and clean up county neighborhoods.

Since January, workers have cleaned close to two-thirds of Hazelwood. But there are still dump sites — filled with tires, old soda cans and blue plastic bags — that they hope to get to before December.

During a news conference Wednesday, Pittsburgh Councilman Corey O’Connor said he was grateful for the partnership between Allegheny Cleanways and the Hazelwood Initiative Blight Task Force.

“We don’t have the ability to do all this work,” he said. “So it’s great when organizations like this go the extra mile.”

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Allegheny County Men Convicted of Illegal Dumping Trash

(June 18, 2015) – KPB Press Release –  Three Allegheny County men have received written citations for illegally dumping trash. Charles Gilbert Scott (65) of Braddock, Michael Paul Leese (33) of Pittsburgh and Terrell Montgomery (46) of Pittsburgh were found guilty of littering on three separate occasions by the Honorable Jeffrey A. Manning. Scott was fined $96, Leese was fined $571 and Montgomery was fines $371. In all instances the arresting officer was Detective Matthew A. Lebedda from the Pittsburgh Police Department. A fourth person, Daniel Schweikart (44) of Pittsburgh, was issued a written citation by Pittsburgh’s Anti-Litter Coordinator Melissa Rosenfeld for littering and dumping by vehicle. The case is awaiting plea.

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Allegheny County Men Convicted of Illegal Dumping

(July 9, 2014) – KPB Press Release – On July 3, 2014, Michael Paul Leese, 32 and Terrell Montgomery, 45, both from Pittsburgh, were found guilty of illegal dumping debris from an excavac vehicle in the Larimer section of Pittsburgh by the Honorable Jeffery A. Manning. Leese was fined $500 plus court fees and Montgomery was fined $300 plus court fees. Both parties have 30 days to appeal.

The City of Pittsburgh has recently increased efforts to identify illegal dumpers and hold them accountable. This spring, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful donated high-tech surveillance cameras to the City of Pittsburgh to support enhanced enforcement efforts. The cameras are in addition to two cameras, purchased by Allegheny CleanWays through a grant from the Allegheny County Conservation District, that were donated to the City of Pittsburgh for surveillance of the city’s worst dumping areas in late 2013.

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Washington County Contractor Guilty of Illegally Dumping

(May 22, 2014) – KPB Press Release – Robert Semulka (9/9/1967) from Washington, PA plead guilty and was fined $2101.50 for illegally dumping trash at two locations in Canton Township. A third incident of dumping by Semulka, also in Canton Township, is awaiting an outcome. Evidence was found by Canton Township Code Enforcement Officer, Chris Hammett who traced it back to Semulka, a local contractor.

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Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’ Surveillance Support Program Aids in Illegal Dumping Convictions in Armstrong and Indiana Counties

(May 1, 2014) – KPB Press Release – As a result of increased enforcement measures in Armstrong and Indiana counties, there were two citations issued recently. On April 3, Thomas Jay Buchner of Lutheran Church Road in Spring Church, Armstrong County, was cited for scattering rubbish upon land and stream within Armstrong County. Buchner plead guilty, was ordered to clean up the dumped trash, pay for proper disposal, and was fined $241. The other incident occurred in Indiana County. The perpetrator was a juvenile.

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Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Donates Surveillance Cameras to City of Pittsburgh

(April 18, 2014) – KPB Press Release –  Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has donated high-tech surveillance cameras to the City of Pittsburgh to support enhanced enforcement efforts surrounding the act of illegal dumping within the City limits. The high quality, motion activated, covert security cameras provide instant wireless transmission of site activity, photo documentation of license plates at speeds of up to 50 MPH, and clear photos of activity day or night, which are key to prosecutions.

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Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Evidence Key to Prosecution

(September 20, 2013) – KPB Press Release – Collier Township, Allegheny County, PA – Collier Township officials, through a recent equipment grant award from Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, installed surveillance equipment at active illegal dumping sites, many of them along remote stretches of rural roads. The cameras helped officials charge and convict Danielle Cosentino, who on July 30th and August 8 was issued a citation for dumping illegally. Police said Cosentino was caught dumping a television,
microwave oven, and pool filter by a motion sensitive surveillance camera, provided by Keep
Pennsylvania Beautiful. On September 18,the Honorable Maureen McGraw-Desmet, Magisterial District
05-2-21, found Cosentino guilty and fined her $780 for the crime.

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Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania to Hold Enforcement Forum

(September 18, 2013) – KPB Press Release – Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania are teaming up for a two day enforcement session on October 16 and 17 at the Double Tree Hotel in Monroeville. Guest speakers and panelists will include representatives from the PA Fish and Boat Commission, PA Game Commission, PA State Police, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, zoning and code enforcement officers, a Magisterial District Judge, and the Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Investigation and Solid Waste Departments. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful will discuss the newly implemented Illegal Dump Surveillance Support Pilot Program and share recent results. This session should be attended by municipal, recycling and waste personnel, enforcement officers or anyone who handles enforcement issues in their job. The class will qualify for 1.2 CEU’s for Recycling 461: Understanding Jurisdictions and Enforcement, and Recycling 462: Investigations and Prosecution Procedures towards the PROP Recyclers certification program.

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