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Report: Lehigh Valley home to dozens of illegal dump sites

Published On: Aug 05 2013 06:43:09 PM EDT

An environmental group says it has found dozens of illegal dump sites in the Lehigh Valley.

An environmental group said it has found dozens of illegal dump sites in the Lehigh Valley, but officials said eastern Pennsylvania has fewer sites because of curbside  and drop-off recycling programs.

At the time of its 2013 study, released on July 12, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful said 3.5 tons of trash was dumped at a site in Easton, just one of 51 sites in Northampton County with 6.5 tons of trash total. 

The numbers in Lehigh County are a little better, all things considered. 


A site on River Road in Allentown had four tons of trash at the time of the study. It's one of 16 dumping sites with 32.5 tons of trash.   

"Part of our bureau responsibility is to stay on top of and clean up illegal dump sites for the city of Allentown," said Ann Saurman, coordinator of recycling in Allentown.

Saurman helped compile data for the study. She said the city regularly patrols the sites, and when trash is found, tries to find the culprits, but most importantly, the goal is to clean up.

All municipalities in Lehigh County have curbside recycling programs; 84 percent of the municipalities in Northampton County have it.

Tom Dittmar, Northampton County's environmental conservation coordinator, said those programs make a big dent in illegal dumping.

The county, Dittmar said, also sponsors a household waste event to help take hard-to-recycle items off of residents' hands for free. 

"We collected 127,000 pounds last year," Dittmar said.

If you see illegal dumping, get a license plate and call police.