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Leetsdale to hold community cleanup effort

| Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 2:24 p.m.

A cleanup effort planned for Saturday in Leetsdale might not collect as much trash if volunteer numbers don't increase, an organizer said.

In conjunction with the Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania, Leetsdale Mayor Pete Poninsky said he hopes volunteers will help rid borough streets and parks of trash and debris.

But he could be doing so with a few less hands. Last year, about 30 people volunteered in Leetsdale to walk the streets or pick up trash in borough parks.

This year, however, about 18 people are pre-registered, he said.

Volunteers have collected between 4 tons and 7 tons of debris each year, Poninsky said.

This is the ninth year Leetsdale has participated in the event.

The efforts in Leetsdale are part of a larger focus to clean up roadways and parks across Pennsylvania, Greensburg-based Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania Program Coordinator Michelle Dunn said.

She called the efforts of the more than 137,000 who are volunteered statewide last year invaluable.

“You're relying on all of those volunteers to clean up the litter and the illegal dumping,” she said. “If the community had to pay staffing for that, it would take a lot out of those budgets.”

There are more than 800 events planned between March 1 and May 31, Dunn said.

On a recent cleanup in Armstrong County, Dunn said she and volunteers removed nearly 200 tires and 1.5 tons of trash.

She praised the work of Poninsky and other volunteers.

“They always have a well organized and great effort,” she said.

Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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