(April 21, 2022) Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Fayette County affiliate formed in 1995 by a group of local volunteers, with support from the Fayette County Recycling Office. They had a vision of a clean and beautiful Fayette County and worked tirelessly as PA CleanWays of Fayette County to complete their objectives.
Over the past three decades, PA CleanWays of Fayette County forged partnerships with groups, agencies, and individuals, including; the Fayette County Solid Waste and Recycling Department, Fayette County Conservation District, Penn State Extension Office, Penn State University, PA Fish and Boat Commission, PA Game Commission, PA Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, township supervisors, high school students, civic groups, watershed groups, recreation groups, and local citizens creating personal relationships that have been the force behind successful community events.
This extensive network of volunteers began systematically cleaning up one illegal dumpsite at a time, tackling some of the biggest and most recognizable “legacy” sites, including Lover’s Leap. From that site alone, volunteers hauled over 160,000 pounds of trash and 1,100 tires up the hillside and disposed of it properly. All told, the volunteer group coordinated upwards of 60 illegal dump cleanups, resulting in the removal of over 1.5 million pounds of trash and 8,525 tires from the Fayette County landscape. Not to be forgotten are the countless road cleanups completed by the concerned Fayette County volunteers.
Almost three decades later, the group is still active and all volunteer, until recently. With continued support from the County Recycling Office, the affiliate responsibilities will migrate to a shared staffed position. Sheila Shea, County Recycling Coordinator and Stormwater Manager, will assume the day-to-day operations and continue to build on the many successes that came before. The group’s new name will be Keep Fayette County Green to encompass the wide variety of events and programs that the affiliate offers.
Two long-time volunteers, Carl Williams and Warren Hughes, were instrumental in the formation of the affiliate and its success.
“I’m happy with the transition to the County Solid Waste and Recycling Department. The affiliate has collaborated with them in the past and has always shared a good working relationship. I’m hopeful that they will use our historical knowledge and experience to expand the affiliate. We will still be involved and available to advise when needed,” said Hughes, volunteer and former PA CleanWays of Fayette County Affiliate Coordinator.
Williams who also served as Affiliate Coordinator prior to Hughes agreed, “We have already worked with Sheila on special collections and recycling events – she’s a go getter and very competent. We are always willing work with them in an advisory capacity.”
“I’m honored that Carl and Warren asked me to continue their efforts through the county. For them to think so highly of our program is extremely humbling. This transition will be a major undertaking, but we’re ready for the challenge and excited to get started. We thank Carl, Warren and all the PA CleanWays volunteers for their invaluable work and dedication to helping us keep Fayette County green. We hope they’ll join us as we start the next phase of this journey,” said Shea.
“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is grateful to Carl Williams, Warren Hughes and others that were instrumental to our mission in Fayette County and is thrilled that the County Recycling office will continue to build on the great foundation that was paved by these local volunteers over the past three decades. We are grateful to Sheila and the County for seeing the value in continuing the Affiliate and providing the tools and resources that residents need to keep their communities clean and beautiful,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.
For Keep Fayette County Green events and programs, and for the Fayette County Recycling Convenience Center hours, visit fayettecountypa.org and choose Government, Departments then Solid Waste Recycling-Stormwater. You can reach Sheila Shea at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-430-4884.
For more information about Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s local affiliates, visit keeppabeautiful.org and choose Affiliate Network. To inquire about starting an affiliate, contact Kylie McCutcheon at email@example.com or 724-836-4121 x114.
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 152 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.