Over 150 tires illegally dumped at Swatara State Park

Lebanon

Swatara State Park employees and volunteers spent Wednesday morning cleaning up more than 150 tires.

Investigators are asking for the public’s help to find out who dumped the tires at the Lickdale boat launch.

Thousands of people visit the park each year. Only a handful dump their trash to avoid paying disposal fees.

Houck says this isn’t the first time someone has used state land as a dumping ground.

“Things like this can be really disheartening,” said Houck, who works for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

It took three dump truck loads and one pickup load to clean up all of the tires. 

“Between the night of Saturday and the morning of Sunday over the weekend, somebody came and dumped about 150 to 200 tires,” said Houck.

State workers and volunteers moved the old tires to the park office.

“Not too many got into the water,” said Houck. “We recovered all the tires as far as we can tell.”

Park rangers are digging into leads to figure out who did it. 

“We’ll handle the investigation and we’ll work with the state police,” said Houck.

Houck says even in the off-season, rangers find garbage on state land.

“Unfortunately, state parks and forests and state game lands is an area some people sadly like to abuse,” he said.

State officials say whoever dumped the tires faces hundreds of dollars in fines. 

Investigators are talking with local business owners to see if security cameras caught anything. 

“We have a small staff here,” said Houck. “If you do see something, call the park office, call the police. Get a description of the vehicle, license plate, anything. It helps.”

The department is looking for the least expensive way to recycle the tires and hopes to do so locally.

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