In The News

Stanton Heights Cleanup - DumpBusters and Community Volunteers

What do 9000 lbs of trash, 16 volunteers, 3 Allegheny CleanWays staff, 1 dumptruck, and 1 cameracrew have in common? All of them were at the dumpsite cleanup in Stanton Heights this past Saturday. The coordination and teamwork of the volunteers was exquisite. In just a few hours they managed to move over 4 tons of trash up a steep hillside and fill up the 12-yd dumptruck 3 times! Some of the treasures of the day included a UPMC sanitary services cart, a toilet, a cute panda toy, a lawnmower, and the old street sign from the days when street signs were white.

Allegheny CleanWays' Retired and Senior Vounteers Recognized in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Post-Gazette published an article on February 21st about our DumpBuster Coordinator Joe Divack and his work with the DumpBuster program. A significant proportion of our regular volunteers are 55+. The DumpBusters program couldn't move the tonnage of debris that is does every week without these dedicated volunteers. From January 1st, 2013 to February 21st alone, the DumpBusters program removed 19 tons of debris and 3,200 tires from hillsides, vacant lots, and roadways in Allegheny County. The next time you see one of our DumpBuster volunteers, thank them for the great work they are doing!

Allegheny Cleanways Summer Newsletter

How Much?

We at Allegheny CleanWays often throw around numbers when talking about the work we do. We frequently state pounds (or tons) removed, miles of riverfront cleaned, and numbers of tires recycled. But what do those numbers really mean? How much is “a ton”? What does a thousand tires actually look like? And what, ultimately, is the result?

To help you visualize the numbers:

Since we started in 2000, we have removed 1,274.49 tons of debris from the empty lots, roadsides, riverbanks, streams, and wooded hillsides of Allegheny County. That’s roughly the weight of 182 male African elephants.


That tonnage includes 16,518 tires. Laid flat on the ground and touching each other (with an average diameter of 25 inches) that many tires would stretch 6.5 miles (roughly the distance from the 16th Street Bridge to the Highland Park Bridge exit on Rt. 28)! If stacked (with an average of 6 inch width), they would stretch just over 1.5 miles into the sky or the equivalent of 15 Cathedral of Learning buildings stacked on top of each other!!So far this year, we have removed 127 tons (about 18 elephants) and 2,536 tires (just over 2 Cathedral of Learning buildings high).

The numbers are impressive by themselves, but when you think of the work involved in the actual removal (e.g. digging tires out of mud, carrying heavy loads up steep hillsides, wrestling with water-logged carpets, cutting paths through knotweed and vines, bending over and over and over again to pick up litter including some pretty disgusting items like dirty diapers and bags full of dog waste), they become even more impressive. In all, our volunteers have donated 10,582 hours (almost 441 days) to help make Allegheny County more beautiful. 

And the result? 226 acres of green space have been cleaned since 2010 alone (when we started keeping track of acres cleaned) and many thousands of people are enjoying cleaner neighborhoods, recreational areas, wooded green spaces, and water.

DumpBusters on WTAE

Pittsburgh's WTAE Channel 4 has just aired a very nice article on Allegheny CleanWays' rapid response team, the DumpBusters. The crew of volunteers has been cleaning up dumpsites around the City of Pittsburgh for over six months now.