Watershed group seeks volunteers for cleanup
By Joe Napsha
Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The Loyalhanna Watershed Association is looking for individuals willing to spend two Saturday mornings in April helping to pick up litter along the eastbound and westbound lanes of Route 30 and near Idlewild Park.
“We need a lot of volunteers. The highway gets so bad with litter. We've found toilets, a few TVs and car parts,” in the previous cleanups, said Susan Huba, executive director of the Loyalhanna Watershed Association, a Ligonier Township-based nonprofit devoted to protecting and conserving the Loyalhanna Creek watershed.
The watershed association is coordinating the Latrobe Corridor Cleanup on April 6 and the Great Ligonier Valley Cleanup on April 20, both of which will occur from 9 a.m. to noon.
Latrobe corridor cleanup
The volunteers for the Latrobe Corridor Cleanup will meet at 9 a.m. April 6 behind the Wal-Mart Plaza off Route 30. They will canvass both sides of the four-lane highway between the Route 981 intersection in Unity all the way to the intersection with Route 217 at Kingston Dam, Huba said. Litter along township roads intersecting Route 30 in the target area also will be collected, Huba said.
Huba said she is anticipating volunteers from Latrobe Specialty Metals and the Greater Latrobe High School, as well as other groups. For safety reasons, youngsters participating in the clean-up will be kept away from the side of the busy highway, Huba said.
About 1,000 volunteers have joined in the clean-up efforts over the past six years, Huba said.
The Unity supervisors will have trucks to pick up the trash collected. Waste Management, a trash collection company, will allow the township to dump the trash into one of its landfills free of charge, Huba said. The volunteers typically collect between 200 to 300 bags of trash during the clean sweep.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will provide volunteers with gloves, orange vests and trash bags.
Ligonier Valley Cleanup
The Great Ligonier Valley Cleanup will target the section of Route 30 from Idlewild Park to the Route 381 intersection in Ligonier Township, Huba said. The initiative will include some side roads in the communities of Ligonier, Waterford, Wilpen, Darlington, Stahlstown, Bolivar and Rector.
The cleanup initiative typically attracts around 20 different groups and organizations that focus on particular sections of the highway, Huba said. An average of 400 people assisted in previous clean-ups, Huba said.
Both initiatives are being held during the Great American Cleanup of PA, which began March 1 and continues through May 31.
Westmoreland Cleanways, a Greensburg-based environmental organization, and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, are sponsoring the initiative in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, PennDOT and Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association.
Coordinators of cleanup events can get more information by visiting the Great American Cleanup of PA webpage, www.gacofpa.org, to register their event. Events must be registered through the Great American Cleanup of PA website, www.gacofpa.org, to get free supplies.
During the Pick It Up PA Days, registered event coordinators will be able to take the trash collected during their cleanup to participating landfills for free disposal.
Since the inception of this event in 2004, more than 68 million pounds of litter and waste have been removed from Pennsylvania's landscape and tens of thousands of trees, bulbs and flowers have been planted.
For more information, contact Michelle Dunn, Great American Cleanup of PA Program Coordinator, at 877-772-3673, Ext. 113, or email@example.com.
Ellen Keefe, executive director of Westmoreland Cleanways, can be contacted for technical assistance and local information at 724-836-4129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or email@example.com.
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