New grant program to combat illegal dumping in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced a new grant program to provide communities with the tools and resources needed to restore illegal dump sites and it awarded $1 million to PA CleanWays to continue its mission to cleanup and remediate illegal dump sites in communities throughout the commonwealth.

Pennsylvania will invest $500,000 in the Illegal Dump Cleanup Grant program for communities and nonprofit groups.

The program will focus on the cleanup of illegal dumps; site restoration and beautification; surveillance of existing dump sites and remediated sites; enforcement of littering and illegal dumping ordinances; and public awareness and education to inform local citizens about illegal dumping, littering and clean-up activities.

Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded with a match of at least 50 percent of the grant amount by the grantee.

The grants are available on a competitive basis to any existing local government or incorporated nonprofit organization currently located in Pennsylvania. An applicant cannot, in any way, be responsible for any illegal dump located in Pennsylvania.

“PA CleanWays has shown a strong commitment to the elimination of illegal dumps and littering in Pennsylvania,” DEP deputy secretary Thomas Fidler said. “In the past three years alone, PA CleanWays’ volunteers have cleaned up 268 sites, hauling out 2,244 tons of trash, 288 tons of scrap and thousands of tires. PA CleanWays also provides important educational resources to help communities raise awareness on the hazards of illegal dumping and on affordable disposal and recycling alternatives.”

With DEP financial support, PA CleanWays initiated an effort in 2005 to identify illegal dumps within each county across the commonwealth. The Illegal Dump Survey Program serves to educate state, county and local officials about the problem of illegal dumping so constituents at all levels can begin to address the problem through cleanups, municipal waste collections, and recycling programs. To date, these surveys have identified 2,600 dump sites with approximately 11,000 tons of illegally disposed trash in the 24 counties that have completed surveys. The grant award announced today will provide funding for 16 more counties to be completed by 2010, with an overall goal to have the entire commonwealth surveyed by 2012.

Grant applications are available at keyword: Illegal dumping.