COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Gretchen Leslie
ILLEGAL DUMPSITES CLEARED IN SUSQUEHANNOCK STATE FOREST
HARRISBURG (September 2, 2003) — Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Michael DiBerardinis today announced contractors removed more than 48 tons of debris and 130 tires from an illegal dumpsite in Susquehannock State Forest, Potter County, as part of the state’s Forest Lands Beautification Program.
“The unsightly dumpsite was in the midst of a beautiful, heavily forested area recently acquired by DCNR as part of Susquehannock State Forest,” Secretary DiBerardinis said. “The area had been used to retire old vehicles and stockpile lumber and building materials. We are pleased to return this area to its natural state.”
Cleanup efforts yielded 24.8 tons of trash and 130 tires, which went to Wayne Township Landfill, and 23.4 tons of scrap metal, which was recycled by Staiman Recycling Corp. of Williamsport. Let George Do It of Cross Fork was responsible for contractor services of the cleanup. After the cleanup, the area was graded, seeded and mulched.
Signed into law in 1998, the Forest Lands Beautification Act provides up to $7.5 million over five years to clean up existing dumps in state forests and parks by recycling or properly disposing of waste materials. The program is funded by the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act (Act 101), administered by the Department of Environmental Protection.
Dumping in state forests damages the environment, but it also can have serious consequences for the dumper. Perpetrators caught dumping face arrest and frequently pay fines or serve community service.
DCNR works in partnership with PA CleanWays, a non-profit organization, to identify dumpsites and to form community volunteer teams to help remove the waste.
About 300 illegal dumpsites have been identified throughout Pennsylvania. To date, more than 200 sites have been cleaned through the efforts of contractors and more than 1,500 volunteers. These cleanups have resulted in the removal of more than 2,300 tons of household trash, 12,600 tires, 325 tons of scrap metal, 525 tons of concrete, and more.
The Forest Lands Beautification Program also seeks to educate citizens about proper disposal methods. The program’s web site, www.CleanPAForests.org (select “Proper Disposal”), includes a link to “Earth’s 911,” a public-private partnership providing a national database of recycling information. Users enter their ZIP code to obtain a listing of local curbside or drop-off recycling programs, solid-waste disposal locations, yard-waste composting sites and household hazardous-waste disposal sites. The database includes names and locations of facilities, phone numbers, hours of operation and any restrictions pertaining to the acceptance of waste.
Those wanting more information on proper disposal of any item can call Potter County Recycling Coordinator, Mike Salvadge, at (814) 848-9610.
To join a cleanup team or for more information, call the Forest Lands Beautification Program toll-free at 1-877-7PA-FOREST (1-877-772-3673) or visit the program web site at www.CleanPAForests.org.
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