Volunteers cleaned up more than 2 tons of trash and 700 pounds of scrap metal from the Hanover Trolley Trail in Jackson Township last year. This
Volunteers cleaned up more than 2 tons of trash and 700 pounds of scrap metal from the Hanover Trolley Trail in Jackson Township last year. This year's cleanup begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. (Submitted)

Update:

Keep York Beautiful has postponed the cleanup of an illegal dumpsite in Jackson Township.

The event was originally scheduled for Saturday at the Hanover Trolley Trail but is being postponed until the fall, according to a news release.

Because of the heavy rain this week, current site conditions might not be safe for volunteers, and heavy equipment could cause damage to the area, the release states.

Anyone interested in participating in the fall event should contact Tom Smith at 717-840-2375 or tls35@psu.edu.

Original report:

On Saturday, volunteers will clean up the area along the Hanover Trolley Trail with the hopes of keeping York County beautiful.

As part of the Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania, they will hit the area — located in Jackson Township near Spring Grove — from 9 a.m. to noon for the second year in the row. The plan is to keep the trail clean once and for all, said Tom Smith, executive director of Keep York Beautiful.

"Our goal will be to get the area completely cleaned up this time," he said.

Cleaning up: Last year, more than 2 tons of trash and 700 pounds of scrap metal was removed from the illegal dumpsite, which is near Hershey Road, located off Route 116 and Sprenkle Road. Volunteers removed 109 tires, carpeting, flooring, vinyl siding, toys, bagged trash, automotive parts and other household waste.

The township manager, an equipment operator and 17 volunteers helped with trash removal and filled one whole Dumpster in three hours.

All the debris at the site is from dumping that occurred before the trail's creation. Access has since been restricted so litter bugs are blocked out and improvements won't be in vain, Smith said.

"We can get in there and clean up, and it's going to stay clean," he said.

Jackson Township and several other county organizations are providing cleanup funding and resources.

"Everybody's involved in helping to make this successful," Smith said.

Impact: Trash is more than just an eyesore. Metals can leach into the ground and pollute the groundwater, affecting drinking water and fishing, he said. Last year, volunteers found car batteries, he said.

"You're talking about all kinds of chemical pollution here," Smith said.

And as the county's West Nile Virus Program administrator, he stressed the need for prevention when it comes to mosquitos. They breed in standing water and, depending on the species, can fly miles away.

"They can really inflict a lot of problems throughout Spring Grove Borough," Smith said.

And it's much better to clean up the problem than to spend tax dollars to curb the mosquito population, he said.

Keep York Beautiful's next goal will be to do more beautification projects, such as planting trees around the county, Smith said.

"This is going to be a continued effort to improve the area, make it more inviting," he said.

— Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.