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Dump Site Cleanup

Volunteers plan to clean up an illegal dump site threatening a natural spring.
FRANKSTOWN TOWNSHIP, BLAIR COUNTY - Volunteers plan to clean up an illegal dump site threatening a natural spring.

There are more than a hundred illegal dump sites in Blair County alone. Pa Cleanways did a survey to find the spots where people just throw their trash over a hill, and Saturday a group of volunteers are going to clean up one of the worst.

People have been dumping trash over the side of Locke Mountain Road in Frankstown Township for decades. Mike Union says there about 40 to 50 tires, toilets, carpets, and animal carcasses. Katrina Pope of the IRC says a lot of it could be recycled, but people just throw it out on the side of the road.

Organizers say any dump site is bad, but this one is worse than most because right across the street is a spring that people come from across the county to get a drink. Union says these illegal dump sites are almost always a source of groundwater contamination and even though the spring is above the dump site the water can still be impacted and contaminated.

PA Cleanways looked at all the dump sites in Blair County and along with the Conservation District and the IRC they decided to do something about it. A group of volunteers will meet at the Hollidaysburg High School 8:30 Saturday morning then go clean it up. Anyone who wants to help should wear long pants, long sleeves and sturdy shoes. Volunteers will also have to sign a waiver. Officials already did a sweep of the area and removed any hazardous materials. So organizers say volunteers don't need to worry about that, but they should dress for the weather.

Pope hopes once the site is cleaned up, people will stop dumping there. They are also looking at putting up cameras to take anyone who does to court.

Ken Wertz Hauling is donating their services and the property owner is paying for other fees. Blair County Solid Waste is also helping with the clean-up.
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