Illegal Dumpsite Cleanups: The Dream Job!

It’s an exciting time at PEC’s Northeast office.

Since 2007, one of our greatest impacts has been conducting clean-ups of illegal dumpsites in the region. That continuing work got a boost as we recently received one of our biggest dumpsite grants that allows us to conduct community illegal dumpsite cleanups in Pike, Potter, Susquehanna, and Wayne counties. We received funding for this project as the result of a settlement of a Department of Environmental Protection enforcement action.

Janet Sweeney
Janet Sweeney

Through our dumpsite work, we have developed and maintained partnerships with community organizations, non-profits, local businesses, and local school districts. Thanks to these partners, hundreds of tons of trash, scrap metal, and tires have been removed, improving the environment and quality of life for local residents. As a result, PEC’s northeast office has become the lead organization for community illegal dumpsite cleanups in the region.

As we wait for the “six more weeks of winter” to wrap up (that darn Punxsutawney Phil), we are busy reviewing the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Illegal Dumpsite surveys that were completed for our project area counties, allowing us to more efficiently target specific sites.  Our staff is also busy making even more connections and reaching out to local municipalities, conservation districts, recycling centers, watershed groups, and many others for assistance in planning our spring cleanup schedule.

The Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful surveys identified 218 illegal dumpsites located throughout the four counties on which we are currently focused:

  • Pike County – 15 sites identified
  • Potter County – 56 sites identified
  • Susquehanna County – 104 sites identified
  • Wayne County – 43 sites identified

So why do we focus so much on these dumpsites? Illegal dumping not only negatively impacts the environment, it also degrades the character of our neighborhoods and the quality of life for our neighbors. Dumpsites know no bounds and include state gamelands, state forests, state parks, waterways of all sizes, private property, and county and municipal lands.

Illegally dumped trash also degrades the water quality of local streams and rivers and can reduce drainage of runoff due to blockage of streams, culverts, and drainage basins. It can even lead to flooding and channel modification. Economically, property values decrease as a result of illegal dumping which affects the local tax base.

Consider coming out to help your community by cleaning up these sites and helping to make sure that further dumping is eliminated.