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Volunteers Remove More than 700 Tires from Susquehanna River

DEP's Northeast Regional Office, the Wyoming County Conservation District and the northeast office of Pennsylvania Environmental Council organized a major tire clean up September 8 in the Susquehanna River in Mehoopany Township. Wyoming County.

A group of 61 volunteers came out on a very hot and humid Saturday morning to clean up 1,000 tires illegally dumped years ago. In order to get to these tires the river level had to be extremely low. Other clean up plans had been organized in the past, but the river didn't cooperate. This year, the river stayed low and the volunteers pulled out about 700 of the 1,000 tires.

Volunteers ranged from Boy Scouts, local residents, Tunkhannock High School students, Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) and staff from the Fish and Boat Commission, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, the Wyoming County Conservation District and DEP.

Numerous area business donated food and water for the volunteers. Wyoming County Commissioner Stark Barton donated two 'bobcats' from his John Deere dealership. WNEP-TV's Pennsylvania Outdoor Life taped the event and will feature the clean up in an upcoming show. Cost for disposal of the tires is being funded through the Pa Cleanways and the COALS Program.

The event would not have been a major success without all the volunteers and especially Mehoopany Township Supervisors and their road crew and equipment. The township provided a backhoe/front-end loader and two dump trucks to remove the tires from the river and transport them to the dumpsters.

The volunteers filled two 40-yard dumpsters and stockpiled the remaining tires in a farmers' field for disposal in the future.

In addition to the river clean up, there was a tire pile of about 200 tires tucked away off the road which DEP and the County West Nile Program treated in the past. The township agreed to clean up this pile as well. Special thanks to Mehoopany Township Supervisors, especially Jack Simmers and Frank Scholz and their road crew.


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