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Chronic misuse closes Hilltown yard waste site


Rampant abuse and flouting of the rules for dumping yard waste at a township-controlled dump yard in Hilltown has compelled the municipality’s board of supervisors to permanently close the facility, officials said.

At a public meeting on Aug. 26, supervisors adopted an ordinance that shutters the facility on Fairhill Road.

“The yard has been barricaded and any further dumping will be fined between $300 and $1,000,” said Township Manager Lorraine Leslie. “It is unfortunate that it had to come to this, but Hilltown Township is not alone in closing this type of facility. Other municipalities have done the same thing and for the same reasons.”

Those reasons center on chronic misuse by the unscrupulous, officials said. The yard was intended to be a place where residents could dispose, for free, of yard waste like tree limbs up to a certain size, branches, Christmas trees, and other similar trees and shrubs.

However, private citizens and businesses alike were dumping all manner of disallowed matter.

“The constant misuse of the facility included landscapers charging people to clean off their properties and then dumping there for free,” said Leslie. “We also had landscapers dumping here from as far away as Bristol. The site was also being used as a bathroom – in spite of the fact that a port-a-potty was sitting at the edge of the parking lot. We even had people dropping off animals, such as a skunk and a raccoon. We believe that there was a drug deal as well.”

All of the misuse occurred despite the fact that Hilltown had a camera recording the events.

“In some cases, we were able to get license plate numbers, and the police issued citations,” said Leslie. “However, the district court would not proceed on a large number of cases, either dismissing them or reducing the fines that were prescribed in the ordinance.”

As such, supervisors decided that the dump yard was more trouble than it’s worth, and opted to shut it down.