York County residents will roll up their sleeves this weekend to clean up an illegal dumpsite.
Volunteers will head to the Hanover Trolley Trail in Jackson Township from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday as part of a cleanup effort organized by Keep York County Beautiful.
In York County, there are 274 illegal dumpsites containing an estimated 263 tons of trash, according to a 2010 Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful report. The organization also found that half the county's 72 municipalities have illegal dumping activity.
The event coordinators chose the trail because the area around it has improved, and it is likely to remain clean, said Keep York County Beautiful coordinator Tom Smith.
Health, safety: Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful says illegal dumpsites affect the health and safety of humans and wildlife and give mosquitoes a place to breed. This is a primary concern, as the blood-sucking bugs carry West Nile virus, which can cause serious illness.
And fewer mosquitoes make for happier trail visitors.
"We want people to enjoy the trail," said Smith, who's also the West Nile Virus Program administrator for Penn State's Cooperative Extension.
All volunteers should wear sturdy shoes and long pants. Safety vests, gloves and trash bags will be provided. Youth volunteers ages 12-17 must bring a waiver form with signed parental consent.
Usually at least 20 volunteers participate in cleanups like this, he said. Volunteers may register by calling Keep York County Beautiful at 717-840-2375 or Smith at 717-885-7558. They may also email Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration ends Friday.
-- Reach Mollie Durkin at email@example.com.