(January 28, 2020) – Leaving items at recycling facilities that are not accepted is considered theft of service or illegal dumping. Illegal dumping not only encourages more dumping and is detrimental to the environment, but it also brings a financial burden to our local municipalities, as they are often the ones left to clean up the mess. In turn, this costs taxpayers money. Non-acceptable items also cause additional work for employees and can potentially contaminate other materials. This contamination can make otherwise appropriate items now unacceptable for recycling, thereby reducing revenue for the municipality. Many drop off centers across the state have been forced to close due to illegal dumping, impacting services for all who rely on that facility.
Cameras installed through the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful camera loan program recently captured someone illegally dumping several pieces of electronics at a Millersburg Borough recycling center in Dauphin County. They were cited for illegal dumping and were ordered to pay a fine and restitution. This restitution helps offset the price the municipality, and by extension taxpayers, pay to properly dispose of what dumpers have left.
In Dauphin County, many unwanted electronics can be taken to the Dauphin County Recycling Center. There are small fees for some items, but most are free. This facility is open to Dauphin County residents, businesses, institutions, and local governments. To find a recycling facility near you, contact your county recycling coordinator or visit the PA Department of Environmental Protection’s page on electronic recycling for consumers. However, before taking items to any location, it’s best to contact them in advance to verify what they accept.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has worked with the Borough of Millersburg for almost 4 years through the Illegal Dump Free PA surveillance camera loan program. This fruitful partnership has resulted in seven successful prosecutions resulting in over $3000 collected in fines and costs. However, only a small portion of those fines and costs were held locally to cover municipal costs. The program is open to municipalities, counties, government agencies, as well as non-profit organizations. The grant includes the loan of a set of three high quality, motion activated, covert security cameras that 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. Visit illegaldumpfreepa.org or contact Rob Dubas at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
About Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s mission is empowering Pennsylvanians to make our communities clean and beautiful. Since 1990, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and its volunteers have removed over 141 million pounds of litter from Pennsylvania’s roadways, greenways, parks, forests, and waterways. To learn more about Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, visit www.keeppabeautiful.org.