Target 11: Massive illegal dump piling up in Brookline

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PITTSBURGH —

A dangerous and dirty problem is piling up in a greenway in Pittsburgh’s Brookline neighborhood.

Target 11 investigator Rick Earle learned of a massive illegal dump that’s been 40 years in the making.

”Landfills look better than this because they are more organized,” said Joe Divack of Allegheny Cleanways.

A rusted car axle, an old television set, and lots and lots of tires litter the city-owned greenway.

“There was probably a shady tire dealer in past times who made this his dump,” said Divack.

He does not know who that person is.

The spot was once called Pittsburgh’s biggest landfill, and it’s not just an eyesore.

It is also a health hazard.

“It's a breeding ground for mosquitoes and when we walk past we see refrigerators, air conditioners, all these chemical leak into the ground. They get into the groundwater,” said Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, who represents Brookline.

Since November a group of volunteers along with workers from Allegheny Cleanways have targeted this site, removing more than 2,000 tires.

They still have several hundred to go and it’s a tough job.

Each tire weighs more than 25 pounds. and it’s difficult to get them up a steep embankment, so workers have set up an assembly line.

“This is something we do all by hand because we can't get any machines down here,” explained Divack.

Allegheny Cleanways has identified more than 400 illegal dump sites just in the city of Pittsburgh.

They still need to clean up half of them.

“It's an enormous problem, especially in our greenways and woodlands, the places that should be pristine,” said Myrna Newman of Allegheny Cleanways.

To keep them pristine, they plan to install hidden video cameras like they did in Allegheny County to crack down on illegal dumping.