Illegal dump sites mar landscape

Only one location in Greencastle made the list, the steep slope at the end of West Franklin Street. A bag of trash is in the foreground, and hidden in the foliage beyond are burn barrels. Also scattered on the hillside are empty beer cans and boxes.

PA CleanWays, a non-profit organization, is making its way across Pennsylvania, looking for illegal dump sites, primarily through visual inspections. Franklin County is one of 37 counties that has been surveyed, contributing to 4,159 dump sites containing nearly 15 tons of trash.

Identified sites in the county numbered 128 for 181 tons of misplaced garbage. Antrim Township had 12 sites yielding an estimated 22 tons. Greencastle had one site for 1.5 tons.

The group wants to educate the public on the prevalence of illegal dumping. It acknowledges most people are unaware of the widespread problem, with the sites usually in secluded places, but often near waterways or in wetlands.


Greencastle's one noted site is on West Franklin Street. The trash had been thrown down a steep slope in the municipality within 50 feet of a water source.

In Antrim the affected roads are Craig, East Weaver, Guitner, Kuhn, Lehmans, Mason Dixon, Mason, Meyers, Patton Bridge, Trolley and two places on Route 16. Only three of the roads are maintained by the state. Antrim takes care of the rest.

The borough is aware of the one dump site in town and plans to clean up the mess, said manager Kenneth Womack.

Antrim sends members of its road department out to clear trash illegally left on or near roadways. And the listed roads are far from the only ones used as convenient trash sites. Administrator Brad Graham said the road crew knows of several hidden locations where people consistently like to throw trash. One day the crew removed 40 tires from Milnor Road. Another time windows were dropped along Craig. People have left stuff on railroad tracks intersecting township byways. Local taxpayers are the ones ultimately paying for the cleanup.

While the people dumping trash likely don't want to pay for the services of a waste collection service, many companies are available to remove garbage from residential and commercial sites on a set schedule or on a one-time basis. Residents also have the option of taking their own trash to the Mountain View Reclamation landfill on Saturday mornings if they have obtained a free permit card.

Both municipalities encourage recycling. Greencastle has an ordinance that all licensed haulers of household and commercial waste must also provide recycling services. Authorized companies are IESI PA, Waste Management and Peck's Refuse Disposal. Residents not using a hauler must take care of their own waste and recycling is mandatory. If trash is left on private property the borough will send notices for the owners to clean up.

Though recycling is not yet mandatory in Antrim, the township has a recycling center south of its municipal building on Antrim Church Road. Residents may drop off baled newspaper, flattened cardboard, metals and glass from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday. In conjunction with Waste Management, IESI and Chambersburg Waste Paper, the township tracks recycled commodities. In 2007 a total of 2,758.5 tons of material were recycled. In 2008 the number was 2,070.79 tons. That includes various types of paper, metals and glass.

PA CleanWays' mission is to eliminate illegal dumping and littering in Pennsylvania. Greencastle and Antrim can do their part to take care of their own refuse.

A bag of household trash sits to the side of Craig Road, and painted boards mingle with underbrush.