Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Keep PA Beautiful: Surveillance Cameras In Michaux State Forest Fight Illegal Dumping

Michaux State Forest in Adams, Cumberland and Franklin counties, has recently increased efforts to catch and identify illegal dumpers and hold them accountable.
This year, the State Forest installed several sets of surveillance cameras along their roads and trails. One camera set is on loan from Keep PA Beautiful as part of their Illegal Dump Free PA program, a community resource for fighting illegal dumping locally.
With evidence obtained from the hidden cameras, Alex J. Cline (10/19/95) was issued a citation and is awaiting plea for scattering rubbish, Ronald Lee Kayhoe (7/28/47) was issued a citation and plead guilty for retrieval and disposition of killed or wounded game or wildlife and was fined $241, and Wayne Catron (10/25/57) was issued a citation and is awaiting plea for scattering rubbish.
As part of the effort to keep Michaux State Forest beautiful, the State Forest partnered with the Antietam Watershed Association and Washington Township Administrators in Franklin County for a cleanup on November 1st along a four mile stretch of Rattlesnake Run Road.
Members from several of the forest’s constituent groups were present including Gettysburg Bicycle group, South Mountain Bible Church and Michaux’s Volunteer Trail program.
(Photo: South Mountain Bible Church volunteers and Trail volunteers pose after Antietam Watershed cleanup along Rattlesnake Run.)
A total of 7,040 pounds of trash and natural waste and 1,500 pounds of TV’s were cleaned up. Before the volunteers departed, a sign with the message “Trees not Trash” was installed at the area where the heaviest dumping occurs.  
The state forest maintenance staff worked diligently the day after the cleanup to remove litter brought roadside by volunteers. Trash was taken to the Washington Township transfer station which accepted the waste free of charge.  
“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful's involvement with our dumping problem has not only given us a targeted plan based on their years of experience, but they were also able to provide us with useful surveillance equipment that we have used to catch dumpers and monitor problem areas,” said Todd Ottinger, Forest Ranger, Michaux State Forest.
“Illegal dumping is not only detrimental to the environment but also brings a financial burden to our local communities as they are often the ones left to clean up the mess,” explained Shannon Reiter, President of Keep PA Beautiful.  “Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful found that on average, it costs local communities $600/ton or nearly $3,000 for a typical illegal dump cleanup.
“Our forest and park lands are resources we must treasure and protect. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is happy to help the cleanup and enforcement efforts already underway in Michaux State Forest,” added Reiter.   
For proper disposal options in Franklin County contact the County Recycling Coordinator at  717-261-3855 or send email to: sclayton@co.franklin.pa.us.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Illegal Dump Free PA, launched this year, provides communities with the tools and resources they need to fight illegal dumping through a public education initiative, surveillance camera loan program and grants for deterrents.
The program is gaining traction and has been instrumental in providing information needed for convictions across the state.  
For more information, visit the Illegal Dump Free PA and Keep PA Beautiful websites.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from Keep PA Beautiful.

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