ABC 27 News – LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — A recent poll shows that a majority of Pennsylvanians surveyed consider time spent outdoors to be “essential” to their wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are steps visitors can take to safely enjoy the outdoors while minimizing their negative impacts on natural spaces.
The Allegheny Front – Reports of illegal dumping to Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful were up by 212 percent in 2020. Their community-based enforcement program called Illegal Dump Free PA does have a surveillance camera loan program so that communities can catch people in the act of throwing couches over hillsides or trash bags into wooded areas. But program coordinator Rob Dubas says a lot of reports of illegal dumping come from the public through a form on one of their two websites, through social media, phone calls, and in one case, a letter that was sent through regular old snail mail.
New Jersey Herald – Just beyond the National Park Service Ranger vehicle, digging through to a pile of white, blue and black trash bags illegally dumped in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, is Ranger Heather Hyde, also known as “the digger.”
She will dig through the trash for clues and evidence to figure out who’s behind the illegal trash that was disposed of just off Creek Road in Lehman Township, Pennsylvania.
“I’ve got a suspect, a contractor,” Hyde said as she pulled out torn-in-half envelopes and other identifiable trash from the bags with her gloved hands as she looked “for more evidence.”
The Tube City Almanac – Frustrated by dozens of illegal dump sites throughout McKeesport, council has voted to drastically increase the fines and the city will soon post cameras in target areas.
Council on Wednesday voted 7-0 to amend the city’s illegal dumping ordinance to set a minimum fine of $2,500 and a maximum of $10,000, or up to 180 days in the Allegheny County Jail.
The previous fine was $300.
Next Pittsburgh -Pittsburgh officials and a local nonprofit are working together to aggressively tackle illegal dumping in the city. On Wednesday, a Pittsburgh City Council standing committee green-lighted a pact to allow Allegheny CleanWays to remove debris from chronic dumping sites that plague city neighborhoods. Under the measure, the group would be allowed to access city public works sites. The measure is likely to go before a full City Council vote on Sept. 8, says Molly Onufer, assistant communications director for Mayor Bill Peduto.
bctv.org – Reading, PA – On August 15, 2020, at approximately 10:13 am, a sergeant assigned to the Reading Police Department Patrol Division was conducting a patrol in the area of the Buttonwood Street Bridge, responding to reports of illegal trash dumping. The sergeant located a Ford F-150 underneath the bridge, back into the entrance of the Thun Trail. Upon further investigation, the sergeant was able to determine that two males were attempting to dump several large bags of trash illegally at the location. The garbage was then loaded back into the vehicle, and the owner was issued a citation pursuant to the City of Reading ordinance prohibiting the depositing of litter in a public place. The case is proceeding under due process. In addition to this case, RPD has intervened with at least four other incidents in the past two months; all suspects were issued a citation.
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.
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.
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.
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.”