April 2005

Progress achieved with Pennsylvania’s illegal dumpsites

Harrisburg, PA— Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) secretary Michael DiBerardinis announced that nearly 287 tons of trash and other debris were removed during 33 cleanups on state forest and parklands in 2004 as part of Pennsylvania’s Forest Lands Beautification Program.

“This year, we removed nine sites from the Dirty Dozen list, a major accomplishment,” Secretary DiBerardinis said. “We conducted more equipment cleanups this year due to the difficult terrain at some sites, but our volunteer participation is what helped make a real impact.”

PA CleanWays, DCNR’s cleanup partner under the program, organized volunteers to perform most of the cleanups. In 2004, 343 volunteers spent 1,723 hours, the equivalent of more than 10 solid weekends, removing tires, appliances, household trash and other debris from state forests and parks. Many volunteers also monitor cleaned sites to ensure that dumping does not reoccur, an approach that reduces subsequent dumping. Cleaned sites have had few reoccurrences of dumping.

More than 4,800 tires, 125 tons of scrap, 20 tons of concrete and more than 141 tons of debris were pulled from illegal dumpsites during 2004 cleanups.

Contractors were hired for cleanups at sites where the terrain, quantity or weight of discarded materials required the use of cranes or other heavy equipment. Forestry personnel cleaned several other sites. Scrap metal, appliances, tires and other materials were recycled after each cleanup. The remaining waste was properly disposed.

Since the program’s inception, these cleanups have resulted in the removal of more than 2,900 tons of household trash, 27,900 tires, 400 tons of scrap metal and 600 tons of concrete.

 


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