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Recycling center in Lycoming County dealing with illegal dumping

Recent improvements at a recycling center in Lycoming County have led to a reduction in illegal dumping.

LYCOMING COUNTY, Pa. — The Old Lycoming Township Recycling Center is a busy place. People who live in this community bring all kinds of products to recycle. But officials say for several years, there were problems here with illegal dumping.

"Something they thought was recyclable or want to recycle, even though it's not, they decided to leave it here anyway, and the other is just plain trash," Megan Lehman said.

Illegal dumping was not only a messy problem but can cause other issues.

"Items that get into our recycling that we don't want can cause issues to the equipment, to the employees, and also contaminates the load," Lauren Strausser said.

"They got to the point where they were considering closing the drop-off center because it really was a strain on the township's resources," Lehman said.

With the help of grant money from the Department of Environmental Protection, improvements were made at the recycling center. Old Lycoming Township installed motorized gates, security cameras, and guardrails.

"The county has changed the containers, and we made smaller openings to eliminate unwanted items. So, unfortunately, you can no longer just have a big tote and empty that material into the container. Now you have to put one at a time or put a small bag in and take the bag with you," Strausser said.

Officials believe this created a more secure and efficient site for recycling and a deterrent for illegal dumping.

"Once they opened that up with all those cameras and everything, they were able to catch some people who were doing illegal dumping here and prosecute that, and so that was an opportunity to get the word out, you really don't want to do this, it's not worth it," Lehman said.

Officials tell Newswatch 16 that since the improvements were made, there has been significantly less illegal dumping at this site.

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