Since 2007, PEC has been assisting local municipalities and other non-profits in cleaning up illegal dumpsites. This year marks the PEC Community Illegal Dumpsite Program’s tenth anniversary.
The program expanded in 2015, when PEC obtained funding through the settlement of a Department of Environmental Protection enforcement action to continue cleaning up illegal dumpsites in Pike County, Potter County, Susquehanna County and Wayne County. With this funding, PEC financed and coordinated a total of 126 illegal dumpsite cleanups, sent hundreds of letters and emails, made phone calls, hired contractors, contacted land owners, acquired insurance, provided equipment and supplies, educated and recruited volunteers, and formed many partnerships.
In just the past three years, the program has removed 185 tons of trash, 37 tons of scrap metal and 105 tons of tires (more than 8,500 tires) from 72 sites, thanks largely to the efforts of more than 1,200 volunteerswho donated nearly 6,800 hours of their time. Additionally, PEC staff worked with municipalities, conservation districts, foresters, and others to clean up 29 locations, and hired contractors to eradicate another 25 illegal dumpsites.
A breakdown by county follows:
- Pike County
16 sites were eradicated by 513 volunteers working a total of 3,544 hours. 37 tons of trash, 80 pounds of scrap metal, and 23.32 tons of tires were removed and disposed of properly. Six of these sites were within a waterway.
- Potter County
69 volunteers spent 205 hours cleaning up 36 sites, removing 15.94 tons of trash, 6.1 tons of scrap metal and 15.23 tons of tires. 21 of these sites were within a waterway.
- Susquehanna County
527 volunteers worked 2,522 hours to eradicate 55 illegal dumpsites. In all, 110 tons of trash, 19.43 tons of scrap metal and 60 tons of tires were removed and disposed of properly. 28 of these sites were within a waterway.
- Wayne County
19 sites were cleaned up over a total of 502 hours by 129 volunteers. Together they hauled away 22.61 tons of trash, 11.25 tons of scrap metal and 6.6 tons of tires. Eleven of these sites were within a waterway.
Many thanks go out to all the volunteers, organizations, schools, churches, clubs, sponsors, conservation districts, county work release and probation offices, county and state employees, municipalities and local officials for supporting this much needed project.