ASHLEY, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) A private water-shed in Luzerne County is seeing an increase in visitors and illegal waste.
Bobby Hughes, executive director of Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation, tells Eyewitness News,”With the storm that we just had this past week, if all that material was still down there, it would’ve got swept away. Probably ended up in Ashley Borough, Hanover Township and Wilkes-Barre.”
The material that Hughes is talking about is the mounds of waste left behind from visitors at Solomon Creek in Ashley.
He says people often drive down to the creek on a privately-owned road behind Bentley’s, where they blast music and leave behind piles of trash. The Pennsylvania Game Commission manages the land along Solomon Creek, part of State Game Lands 207.
Don Kane Jr., a resident of Ashley, tells us that many cars that drive down to the creek have out-of-state plates.
He said, “Just in the last few years, it’s become a problem with a lot people that have no respect and they litter and trespass and violate people’s properties and so on.”
Greg Griffin, from the Wilkes-Barre Area Citizens Blight Committee, told Eyewitness News that volunteers were out here on Saturday.
Martin Dartoe, a volunteer who came to help with the cleanup, says it’s a shame to see such a beautiful part of nature get destroyed by garbage.
“With the sense of illegal dumping, it’s heartbreaking because we have to have respect for nature. We live in a beautiful state and there are people who enjoy the outdoors,” said Dartoe.
“The fact that all the trash has been piled up down there is something that we don’t really take too kindly when we did a large conservation plan for the entire watershed,” says Hughes.
Ashley Borough Council says 18 citations were issued within the last month and a half.
And the Ashley Police Department, along with the game commission, patrol the property.
The Wilkes-Barre Area Citizen’s Blight Committee says a local business owner is covering the entire disposal cost of the garbage.