PA Cleanways- The Lackawanna County survey is part of a statewide project by PA Cleanways, which works to fight illegal dumping and littering and to promote beautification.
Since 2005, PA Cleanways members have driven roads across Pennsylvania, looking for illegal dumping. So far, in surveys of 49 counties, the organization has found more than 5,000 sites it estimates hold 15,800 tons of illegally dumped trash.
The surveys identify where the sites are and whether they still are active. They categorize the trash – tires and household appliances are among the most common items – and note whether the waste contains hazardous chemicals and how near it is to a waterway.
Mr. Crouch said most of the sites are previously unknown – except, of course, to the dumpers. And how municipalities deal with the information, once they have it, varies.
Some, including Ransom Twp. in Lackawanna County, already were aware of the sites and were waiting for the survey results so they could apply for grants to clean them up, Mr. Crouch said.
But others were “a bit indifferent,” he said. In those cases, the survey can lead community members to press for action.
“Many people don’t realize how close an illegal dumpsite might be from their residence,” he said. “This is a way to show people and municipalities that there may be a dumpsite near them.”
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