Trash dumping continues at Apple Grove

By OWEN WALSH
Posted 8/26/20

HONESDALE, PA — Litter may not be a new problem at Honesdale’s Apple Grove picnic area, but it’s just as prevalent and perplexing to local officials as ever.

“I don’t …

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Trash dumping continues at Apple Grove

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HONESDALE, PA — Litter may not be a new problem at Honesdale’s Apple Grove picnic area, but it’s just as prevalent and perplexing to local officials as ever.

“I don’t know of a solution,” said Department of Public Works (DPW) director Dan Brown, who, at the last borough council meeting, said that he’s “been noticing a huge influx of trash” at the park this summer. “At the entrance of Apple Grove, about every other day or every couple of days, there’s a little pile of trash right there by the fence post.” 

He noted that he’s not sure if visitors are dumping their trash near the entrance before leaving, or if someone has been going through the park gathering all the litter they find and placing it at the entrance so that it’s easier for DPW employees to find. Two years ago, two Honesdale women were caught and fined for dumping their trash in Apple Grove’s parking lot.

There currently aren’t any trash cans at the park, just signs telling visitors that anything they bring in must be brought back out. Brown said that having cans there presents problems of its own.

“Talking to the DPW in the past... they had a can up there that just got either animals into it, it got strewn out all over, people were dumping regular household trash there,” he said, mentioning other unintended consequences like cans getting destroyed or bags getting torn out.

Brown said that, for a while, his team was making daily rounds to pick up trash that had been left behind. Now with more projects going on, they go by two or three times a week.

“I feel bad for my guys having to pick it up... it’s like used diapers and stuff like that,” Brown said.

Borough councilor and parks and recreation commission chair Jim Jennings asked what the public should do if they find litter in the parks. Brown said they can call the borough’s office and let them know it’s there, “I don’t know what else to do.”

Jennings said that the issue will be discussed at the next parks commission meeting in a couple of weeks.

At another point in the meeting, safety management coordinator Stan Pratt gave the council a rundown of the damage done to the borough’s infrastructure by tropical storm Isaias earlier this month.

The storm most heavily impacted the steep-hill intersection of Vine, Commercial and Terrace streets. DPW has been eyeing a damaged storm pipe on Vine Street since at least last year, and the rushing water and mud during the most recent storm tore open the pavement there.

Pratt said that the runoff continued down the hill and across a foot bridge leading to Fifth Street, also flooding the train tracks and Fourth Street. He also identified washed-out drainage ditches near Honesdale High School, and storm drains on Erie Street leading to the Top Notch Distributors building which were “inundated” with stormwater, causing further flooding.

All of the areas identified by Pratt have been noted as problematic areas in the past. Since last summer, the borough has been making a concerted effort to address these issues, allocating money in the annual budget for stormwater repairs, applying for grants and working with Entech Engineering to develop a fully-fledged stormwater management plan.

Pratt and Brown thanked each other for coordinating their responses to the most recent flooding and getting streets reopened “as quickly as possible” following the storm.

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