ACW July Newsletter - DumpBusters Celebrate 4 Years

by Joe Divack

The idea that was born in June of 2010 didn't seem like an altogether workable concept. No special funding or equipment and proposed to work 12 months a year removing trash? What could it be? Why folks, its DumpBusters!

On the occasion of DumpBusters' fourth anniversary, it seems appropriate to spend a moment looking back at how it began, and what it looks like today.

It all started when volunteer Joe Divack found that he thoroughly enjoyed the physical work of cleanups and the satisfaction of a job well done for the community. Joe started off doing the work on his own, not realizing that others might enjoy doing it too. Eventually he connected with Allegheny CleanWays, and was fortunate enough to find a board of directors that thought a small crew operating daily could be an interesting complement to existing large group cleanups.

Electronics Recycling this weekend (January 11th)

Looking to dispose of computers or electronics in a safe and secure way? Come to one of the electronic recycling events at two locations this Saturday, January 11th.

Congratulations to Hannah Grace, our 2013 Volunteer of the Year!

Hannah Grace began volunteering with Allegheny CleanWays in June of 2011 after noticing the results of the work that we did at Duck Hollow, where she used to walk. She started by volunteering for a riverfront cleanup. It was pouring down rain the day of the cleanup and, although she considered canceling, she attended anyway and really enjoyed it. She didn’t particularly like getting dirty, but the positive feelings she got definitely outweighed the negative ones for her, so she spoke to us about joining the DumpBusters crew. She quickly became a regular member of the crew, volunteering several hours a week in all kinds of weather, all year long. To date, Hannah has clocked 316 hours of volunteer work and shows no sign of stopping or slowing down. Hannah is completely dedicated to the work of the DumpBusters program, even though much of what she does flies under the radar of most people.

John Cokley Named Volunteer of the Year for 2012

John Cokley started volunteering regularly with our DumpBusters program in January of 2011 after retiring from Highmark where he was Director of National Accounts. He had heard about the work of the DumpBusters on the news and stepped up to help once a week, commuting to Pittsburgh from Washington County to do so. Since that time he has logged more than 150 hours of service to Allegheny CleanWays.

His contributions to the DumpBusters program have been numerous. He always shows enthusiasm for each project, no matter the difficulty or location. He is an extraordinary field worker: smart, highly and consistently productive, easy-going, quick to help another DumpBuster who needs a hand, and contributed significantly to the Mt Washington heavy debris cleanup last year that resulted in construction of a new trail in Emerald View Park. John has a quiet strength that makes every job a success and a pleasure. Nothing discourages him, and a crew is infinitely stronger with his presence.

Dave Limbacher named Volunteer of the Year

We first met Dave in Duck Hollow several years ago. He showed up at a Tireless Project event there. He showed up there the next year, too. And the next. It didn't take long for us to realize that Dave had a very special love for that piece of land. Joining our DumpBusters crew this year, he spent every winter weekend (often both Saturday and Sunday) helping to remove more than 150 tons of illegally dumped debris from the area. Once one of the most heavily dumped sites in the city, Duck Hollow has been enjoying a relatively dump-free existence all year thanks to Dave's stewarding of the entire 17 acres! He visits the site 3-4 times weekly to monitor and pick up litter or any new items that appear. He also continues to regularly volunteer with us on the weekends, cleaning up other dump sites throughout the region.

Thank you, Dave, for your dedication to Duck Hollow and to the mission of Allegheny CleanWays!