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PA CleanWays Grant From Mellon Foundation Supports Cleanup Initiatives
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PA CleanWays, Inc. has recently accepted a generous grant award of $300,000 from the Richard King Mellon Foundation in support of its Statewide Illegal Dump Survey and Cleanup Campaign. The funds will be earmarked for western Pennsylvania.

“We can’t thank the trustees enough for their support of this very important initiative. Our grassroots network of volunteer chapters and affiliates have been actively engaged in cleanup and abatement of illegal dumping for nearly two decades. The Richard King Mellon Foundation’s support of this initiative is a tribute to each and every PA CleanWays volunteer and their commitment to our shared mission,” said Shannon Reiter, President of PA CleanWays.

Since 1990, the PA CleanWays growing grassroots network has completed nearly 700 illegal dump cleanups, more than 500 special collection events for hard-to-dispose of items, and properly disposed of more than 9,000 tons of trash, 1,300 tons of scrap metal, and more than 320,000 tires from Pennsylvania’s landscape.

PA CleanWays has engaged more than 31,000 volunteers in more than 148,000 volunteer hours. Additionally, PA CleanWays has raised nearly $1,100,000 million dollars in in-kind support for its program.

“In an effort to develop a comprehensive and strategic plan for cleanup and abatement of illegal dumping in Pennsylvania, PA CleanWays recognized the need for a statewide illegal dump survey to document the extent of the problem,” said Reiter.

Each county-based survey includes not only detailed characteristics of individual dumpsites, but also GIS maps of the sites by municipality, population density, and watershed.

PA CleanWays has received strong support from the Department of Environmental Protection for the Illegal Dump Survey program. This support has enabled PA CleanWays to build and strengthen additional support from the private sector.

PA CleanWays has completed 14 county-based surveys and identified 1675 illegal dumpsites. Of those, 775 were in or within 100 feet of water. Some counties had as many as 217 illegal dumpsites. In just the 14 counties completed thus far, there is an estimated 7741 tons of illegally discarded waste.

Illegal dump surveys are available online.

“It is our goal” explains Jim Bendel, Board Chair of PA CleanWays, “that these surveys will not only provide PA CleanWays, grassroots organizations, conservation districts, and watershed groups the information needed to plan for cleanup and abatement of these sites, but also provide local, county, and state government officials the hard data needed to develop appropriate abatement strategies and gain additional support for existing and new programs for proper handling of waste.”

To volunteer or for more information, visit the PA CleanWays website.


5/25/2007

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