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Getting Rid of Makeshift Dump Sites in Pittsburgh

Parts of the city have been turned into makeshift dump sites and add to the problem of blight.

Allegheny CleanWays Project Coordinator Leah Thill and Jake Baechle, Volunteer Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy represent organizations working with volunteers to safely and effectively clean up these areas.

Thill says that people really do not understand how serious this problem is.

“It’s enormous and no one really knows the magnitude of the problem. In 2009, Allegheny CleanWays did a preliminary assessment and found close to 300 dump sites. And through the last five years as we have been cleaning up these dump sites we generally find 3 more in the process driving through communities and walking through wooded hillsides.”

Ultimately Thill says there are thousands of these dump sites in the area and they hope to make these sites again, but they need more help.

“Well we are really limited only by our capacity in terms of staff and volunteers...we need more people who are willing to commit to maybe once a week, maybe every other week, but we know there are very dedicated, brave souls out there and we just need to find them."

But Thill says proper training is necessary “It’s not like litter pickup, it’s not like trail building," she says. "In many cases it’s more like demolition work.”

The Allegheny CleanWays Project is holding a training workshop this Saturday on how to clean up dump sites safely and effectively.