Illegal Dumping on the Rise in Pennsylvania: Report it to Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful

(April 29 2020) – Since stay at home orders were issued on April 1 due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has received 73 reports identifying illegal dumpsites in 35 different counties across the state. Fourteen percent of the sites are located on state park, state forest, or game lands.

The 73 reports make up 70% of the reports received by the organization so far this year. The increase in dumping could be a result of temporary suspension of trash hauling and recycling services citing worker safety and other limitations. Bulky waste pick-ups and special collections of electronics, tires and appliances have also been postponed until late summer or fall, increasing the problem.

The most frequent item reported was household trash, which was found at 47 sites, followed by tires at 31 sites. Other items reported were appliances, electronics and building supplies, such as demolition and construction waste.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, a statewide nonprofit, is asking Pennsylvania residents to help locate and report illegal dumping and/or graffiti as part of their Illegal Dump Free program at https://illegaldumpfreepa.org/report-it/.

“Litter and dumped trash poses a threat to the environment as well as to those who clean it up. Documenting illegal dumpsites is a critical step in educating people about illegal dumping on our lands and waters and ultimately in helping to restore the natural beauty of our state. Please be a good steward and if you see an illegal dumpsite, report it,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.

Dumpsite information will be logged and shared with local enforcement authorities, as well as local affiliates, state agency partners and other partners. Photos can be included in the report. Contact information of those reporting a site will be kept confidential.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful also offers a security camera loan program to curb illegal dumping by exposing those who commit this crime. The program offers three concealable, lockable cameras and accessories that capture usable, conviction-worthy footage of license plates and illegal dumpers – even at night. For more information visit https://www.keeppabeautiful.org/illegal-dump-free-pa/ or contact Rob Dubas at rdubas@keeppabeautiful.org or 724.836.4121 ext. 107. The program is available to municipalities, state agencies and nonprofit organizations.

“With the help of Pennsylvania residents we can document what’s out there and reduce the amount of new dumping. We also want to reassure our volunteers that we are busy planning and preparing for the post-pandemic cleanups that are sure to come once restrictions are lifted. We’ll have a lot of catching up to do,” said Reiter.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Pick Up Pennsylvania, in support of the International Coastal Cleanup is tentatively planned for September 1 through November 30. Information on the availability of cleanup supplies and supply distribution details will be communicated as they become available. Registration will tentatively open on August 1 at www.keeppabeautiful.org.

Last spring, 7 million pounds of trash and recyclables and 19,082 tires were removed from Pennsylvania roads, trails and waterway through the Pick Up Pennsylvania spring program.

Anyone wishing to support future cleanups can make a donation on our website by clicking on Donate Now or by contacting Barb Christner, Director of Development at bchristner@keeppabeautiful.org or 724.836.4121, ext 114.

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About Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s mission is empowering Pennsylvanians to keep our communities clean and beautiful.  Since 1990, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and its volunteers have removed over 147 million pounds of litter from Pennsylvania’s roadways, greenways, parks, forests, and waterways. To learn more about Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, visit www.keeppabeautiful.org.   

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