The Allentown Department of Public Works will mark Earth Day, tomorrow April 22, by cleaning up tons of illegally dumped trash, debris and tires from along the west bank of the Jordan Creek known as Jordan Meadows.
The city will begin Thursday morning by using heavy equipment on the sloped areas to remove as much trash as possible. Hand crews will work together to clean up the remaining smaller items.
This area is a city park slated to become part of the Jordan Creek Greenways Trail. When constructed, the trail will be a 1.9 mile paved multi-use path (for walking and bicycling) which mostly follows the west side of Jordan Creek from the intersection of West Turner Street and North Jordan Street, north to and through Jordan Park, ending at MacArthur Road. In effect, the trail connects Jordan Park West, Jordan Park and Jordan Meadows to Center City Allentown.
The Parks Department performed work last week to clear fallen trees for Public Works crews (Bureaus of Recycling & Solid Waste and Streets) to gain access to the area of the dumping.
Ann Saurman, Manager of the Bureau of Recycling and Solid Waste noted the items that people dumped down this embankment toward the creek, could easily have been handled properly instead of illegally dumping this trash and debris in a remote part of a city park.
Saurman said, “These individuals should have bagged the trash and set it out properly for city collection while keeping within the trash limits of 5 bags per collection night. Mattresses, furniture and rugs should have been placed out by the residents on their bulk collection night. One bulk item is allowed once a week on the second collection night.”
“People who dumped TVs should have simply called the Bureau of Recycling and Solid Waste to schedule a drop-off appointment which is free for Allentown residents,” Saurman added. “The more than 25 tires that were dumped should have been taken to a garage or service station that accepts tires for recycling, which does involve a per tire cost.”
The trash and debris will be loaded into 40-yard roll-off containers and will be taken to Waste Management’s landfill for disposal. Waste Management is a national sponsor of Keep America Beautiful and offers free disposal for Earth Day clean-up projects. The city, under Keep Allentown Beautiful, is an affiliate of Keep America and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.
Mayor Ray O’Connell urges residents and those traveling through the city to report illegal dumping. “The city has seen an increase in illegal dumping of construction debris, furniture, and TVs,” O’Connell said. “We are asking the public to report illegal dumping in progress, and if possible, assist the bureau by capturing a picture or video of the alleged violator and/or a license plate. A picture or video will aid SWEEP in enforcing illegal dumping.”
Illegal dumping in the city of Allentown carries a minimum fine of $1,000 and a maximum fine of $5,000. The city also seeks restitution for the cost to clean-up illegally dumped items.
An investigation of the dumped items resulted in one Citation that has been filed in District Court and one SWEEP Violation Ticket against the alleged perpetrators. The hearing at District Court resulted in a guilty verdict.
It is important to note, that had these individuals taken the proper steps to recycle and to set out the trash correctly for curbside pick-up, there would not have been a fine and additional costs. The cost for disposal is far less than the fines and restitution costs.
Residents are encouraged to call the Bureau of Recycling and Solid Waste for correct and legal disposal options.
To report illegal dumping in progress, call APD non-emergency number, 610-437-7751. To report illegal dumping afterwards, please call 610-437-7770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, please call the Bureau of Recycling and Solid Waste at 610-437-8729 or visit www.allentownrecycling.gov/recycle.