Harrisburg, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced that volunteers pulled more than 1,300 tons of trash from 78 illegal dumpsites in state forests and parklands in 2002. A DCNR spokesman said 2002 was a banner year for the program with a record number of volunteers who picked up 6,600 tires along with the debris. The amount of trash dumped in Pennsylvania forests in 2002 was the equivalent of 1,600 people dumping their yearly trash output in the forests.
The cleanup effort is funded by the Forest Lands Beautification Program, which created the Forest Lands Beautification Act in 1998 and provides $7.5 million over five years to clean existing dumps on state forest lands. Since the program’s inception, 250 sites have been identified, and 166 have been cleaned. More than 1,900 tons of household trash, 11,500 tires, 280 tons of scrap metal, and 525 tons of concrete have been removed.