Hundreds of illegal dump sites found across Allegheny County

The tireless work continues to clean up illegal dumping sites across Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. The continued use of these sites has some local leaders considering a new solution.

Target 11's most recent investigation into illegal dumping took us to a lot in Larimer. Neighbors there are working hard trying to keep their streets clean, but new tire dumps keep appearing.

"I went to turn my truck around and the whole field was filled with used tires," Dee Chatterfield told Target 11.

Our investigation into illegal dumping started five years ago. In 2014, Target 11 went to Brookline, as volunteers removed thousands of tires.

A new report by the Allegheny Cleanways found that while volunteers keep cleaning up sites, there are still many left untouched. The report found 486 illegal dump sites across Allegheny County. The executive director of Allegheny Cleanways, Myrna Newman, took us to one of the worst locations they found.


Gershon Street, near Interstate 279 on Pittsburgh's North Side, is filled with tires. Over the past several years, volunteers moved 20 tons of debris and trash, and more than 1,000 tires, from that location. After all that, the tires keep coming back.

"It's just disheartening," Newman said.  "It's angering, It's all those things. We've cleaned this thing up so many times."

Allegheny Cleanways and the city of Pittsburgh have worked to crack down on illegal dumping by using surveillance cameras in these areas. They say the cameras have led to some convictions, but they want preventative measures too.

"When we all get our tires changed, pay the fee and they pocketed the fee and dumped the tires," Newman said. "That's what we are trying to prevent."

To deal with that, Newman is proposing a tire manifest program. This would be a system similar to one used in California. It tracks tires from the manufacturer to the recycler, and she thinks that would stop tires dumped by haulers trying to save some money.