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Tackling illegal dumping in PA

This illegally dumped trash is making its way to the Delaware River after being tossed down an embankment along a Wayne County roadway.
TRR photo by Sandy Long

July 17, 2013

An Illegal Dumpsite Survey (IDS) of Pennsylvania has been completed, and the results aren’t pretty. From 2005 to 2013, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (KPB) performed the county-based survey of the Commonwealth, identifying 6,487 illegal dumpsites containing an estimated 18,516.83 tons of trash.

The results only capture sites that are visible from the public right-of-way and do not include farm dumps or dumps on private lands. For this reason, KPB notes, “It can be presumed that there are significant numbers of illegal dumpsites out of sight on private property.”

Established in 1990, KPB is a nonprofit organization that helps Pennsylvanians take action by partnering with county and local officials, other concerned residents, and community organizations, through organized cleanups, adoption of local areas, prevention of future dumping via volunteer monitors, placement of physical deterrents and enforcement action when needed.

The survey reveals that illegal dumping occurs in every county of the state. In Wayne County, which encompasses 725.8 square miles, 43 illegal dumpsites consisting of an estimated 71.75 tons of trash were recorded (see more at Pike County’s 544.96 square miles showed at least 15 dumpsites containing an estimated 18 tons of trash (see more at

KPB has hired a consultant to determine the actual community costs of illegal dumping and cleanup. Results are expected to be released in the fall of 2013. Since 1990, KPB has organized cleanups resulting in disposal of over 97 million pounds of trash, while recycling over 5.2 million pounds of scrap metal and over 651,000 tires.

Learn more by visiting Report illegal dump sites at