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.
(December 1, 2020) Beltzville State Park is one of the many state parks across Pennsylvania to experience an uptick in visitors this year. With most other forms of entertainment shut down due to the pandemic, outdoor recreation soared and so did the amount of litter left behind. Thanks to the Beltzville State Park Friends group, the park saw regular litter pick-ups. The group adopted Beltzville Lake and shore area and a two-mile stretch of nearby Pohopoco Drive in 2016 through Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s road and area adoption program. Staff at Beltzville State Park support cleanups of the lake area while Towamensing and Franklin Townships approved the adoption and regular litter cleanups along Pohopoco Drive.
The Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful adoption program is available statewide for municipal roads, parks, neighborhood blocks, greenways, waterways and trails. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful provides a sign recognizing the volunteers’ efforts and seeks the support of the local parks and municipalities to provide the sign post, install the sign and provide trash disposal options as needed.
“Shortly after forming the Beltzville State Park Friends Group, we became involved with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. They provided recognition signs for our road and lakeshore adoptions. The signs not only helped us get our name out there, but also let people know the areas are being watched and taken care of. This year, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful provided our group with new litter grabbers and we get free cleanup supplies by participating in their Pick Up Pennsylvania event in the spring and fall,” said Diane Szwajkowski, Chair of Friends of Beltzville State Park.
Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, funded by the NiSource Charitable Foundation, provided litter grabbers to Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful adopters. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, PennDOT, Keep America Beautiful, GLAD Products Company and the Ocean Conservancy provided gloves, bags and safety vests to participants registered with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Pick Up Pennsylvania initiative.
“Litter cleanups divert park and municipal personnel from routine maintenance tasks meant to benefit the health and safety of the community. It affects neighborhoods environmentally, socially and economically,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.
According to Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s 2019 study, The Cost of Littering and Illegal Dumping in Pennsylvania, just nine cities in Pennsylvania spend $68 million annually on cleanup, education, enforcement and prevention efforts to address litter and illegal dumping. In addition, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spent over $65 million removing litter from within highway rights-of-way between 2014 and 2018.
“Our adoption program helps mitigate costs by providing the tools and resources residents need to be stewards of their communities,” said Reiter. “We appreciate the commitment of the Friends group at Beltzville State Park and for the cooperation and support of the State Park and municipalities. This partnership has improved the park and surrounding area for all visitors and the wildlife that call it home. Without everyone’s cooperation, our program would not be possible. Thank you!”
“As an all-volunteer group, we look forward to our cleanups. It provides an opportunity for us to socialize with like-minded people and we enjoy improving our State Park and local community. The park takes care of the trash we collect. It has been a great relationship. We are grateful for the support of the park and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful,” said Szwajkowski.
Until the threat of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID 19) passes, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful suggests doing a cleanup either solo or with household family members and encourages adhering to the recommendations for social distancing.
For more information about adopting a municipal road, park, trail or waterway, visit keeppabeautiful.org and choose Keep It, then Adoption Program or contact Stephanie Larson at email@example.com or 877.772.3673 x104. For information about adopting a state maintained road, visit the PA Department of Transportation at www.penndot.gov and search Adopt-a-Highway.
About Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s vision is a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania. Since 1990, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has worked with hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the state to pick up nearly 147 million pounds of trash from Pennsylvania’s roadways, waterways, greenways, vacant lots, forestlands and other community spaces. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s core programming focuses on litter and illegal dump prevention, cleanup, community greening, and proper waste handling and sustainable practices. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful works with many partnering organizations on the state and grassroots level to accomplish our goal of a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is the state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. To learn more about Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, visit www.keeppabeautiful.org.
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.