Cleanup at Pennsylvania State Park removes 250 tons of tires
A large-scale cleanup operation that spanned 12 months transformed a former salvage operation site into a natural setting at Swatara State Park in Pennsylvania.
“This project went far beyond the removal of a vacant home and cleanup of a mini-junkyard where 250 tons of tires and wheels, electrical transformers and other debris had been discarded,” said Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Michael DiBerardinis. “There also was the very real threat of contamination of concrete materials and soil from transformer oil containing PCBs.”
The 5.5-acre parcel of land was acquired by DCNR in 2006 and targeted for a salvage yard cleanup that involved local volunteers, the Bureau of State Parks and Pennsylvania CleanWays (PA CleanWays), a non-profit organization helping agencies and communities combat litter and dumping.
During a second-stage cleanup this summer, staff from the bureau, PA CleanWays, the Department of Environmental Protection, DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry and several private firms specializing in environmental cleanup and restoration work removed soil and a former residence from the site.
PA CleanWays hired Environmental Restoration Inc. to remove all municipal waste materials, including the former residence and other debris on the site, and to grade, seed and mulch the site.
The site will be left to return to a natural state with a riparian buffer at the southern entrance to the park.