Special Alert

Clean & Green Poconos

Here in the Poconos, we live clean and green lives; practicing an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

We’ve provided some resources and tips for visitors, local communities, and residents to stay clean and green in the Pocono Mountains to help reduce litter. A simple rule to follow is to treat the places you visit with the same respect you would treat your own home and community. Help us stay green and reduce litter; Pick Up the Poconos with us!

Pick Up The Poconos

Help the Poconos Stay Clean & Green

Prevention – Hold onto your trash until you can dispose of it properly. Never throw anything outside a vehicle’s window. Make sure truck tarps and straps are held down tight so no debris can escape. Do not overfill garbage cans or dumpsters. Secure garbage cans from animals like raccoons and bears.

Leave No Trace – When exploring the Poconos, take any trash with you. Leave only footprints on hiking trails, rivers, and downtown streets.

Come Prepared – If you are visiting for the day, create a plan for the trash you may generate. If there are no trash cans where you will be exploring, bring a trash bag with you and find the closest public trash drop-off - or put it in the trunk and bring it home. Never leave trash on the side of the road, or in any unsolicited area.

Pick it Up – If you see litter and it’s safe to do so, pick it up. If you are going hiking, bring along an empty plastic bag and pick up any trash you see as you go. If you are visiting for a few days, make it a goal to pick up at least one piece of garbage per day. Everyday is Earth Day in the Pocono Mountains!

Spread the Word – The more that people are aware of the effects of littering, the less litter there will be. If you see somebody littering, tell them the consequences.

Reduce Energy Use – When you leave your hotel room, turn off the AC/heat, lights, and television. Reduce the amount of water used for bathing or showering. Participate in the hotel linen programs or let the hotel know that it's not necessary to change your sheets and towels every day.

Reduce Toiletries Waste – When visiting, bring your own shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc. to reduce the amount of packaging and resources required to produce the mini containers in your lodging. Leave little bottles of amenities in the guestroom if unopened.

Reduce Transportation – Enjoy walking tours and walk where sensible. Carpool and use public transportation when available. Try to group your destinations for the most efficient route to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

Recycle – Participate in hotel recycling programs by placing recyclables in appropriate bins.

Inform Others on the Nearest Dump and Recycling Sites – Rental properties should provide instructions on trash pick-up or drop-off. Nearby residents can point visitors in the right direction for the nearest dump or recycling center.

Get Involved – See what your community is doing to help battle litter and help out. Or, plan your own community clean-up using the 5-step guide below. Refer to our Safety Tips and list of Resources for more help.

Keep the Poconos Clean & Green

Organize Your Own Community Clean-Up

Improve the image of where you live and what you see every day, help the environment, and get to know your neighbors. Or, compile your coworkers and clean-up your jobsite or the property of your work building! We’ve compiled a 5-step guide to help you get started.

  1. Assess the Options
    1. How much will you be cleaning up? How many garbage bags and gloves might you need? Note where the worst mess is, its nature, and what could conceivably be done with a few hours' labor from several people.
       
  2. Work with the Community
    1. Does your community have any organizations within it? Try working with your community’s neighborhood watch, residents’ association, etc. If not, organize a group of neighbors who share your concerns.
       
  3. Agree on a Date and Time
    1. Set a time and date that most people are likely to attend, such as on a weekend. Spread the word by talking to your neighbors, posting on social media, or setting up an event on Facebook and inviting members of the community.
       
  4. Purchase Needed Equipment
    1. You’ll need garbage bags, gloves, and a way to dispose of the filled garbage bags; taking them to a proper dumpsite, renting a dumpster, etc.
       
  5. Offer Rewards
    1. Have some type of incentive or reward; coffee, cakes, snacks, or fruit. To make it fun, see who can find the most unique piece of trash.

Litter Pick-Up Safety Tips

  • Wear reflective clothing (such as a reflective vest) when working on, or alongside, a roadway.
  • Wear protective clothing as well, such as long pants, closed-toe shoes, and safety glasses.
  •  If you are working 15 feet or closer to the road, make sure you put up cones or signs warning drivers.
    • A good rule of thumb is to place signs or cones 10x the speed limit before the start of the work area (ex. If the speed limit is 35mph, place the cones or signs 350ft before the work area).
  • Be aware of traffic and do not cross the road where it is not safe.
  • Be sure to keep bug spray, sunscreen, a cell phone, a first aid kit, snacks, and water on hand.
  • Park all cars as far off the road as you can, and carpool when possible to reduce number of cars on the side of the road.
  • Work only during non-peak travel times.
  • Work on one side of the road at a time and face oncoming traffic.
  • Do not wear headphones to listen to audio; you will need to be able to listen for traffic.
  • Be alert for hidden holes and rocks.
  • Watch out for plants and animals that may be dangerous.
    • Be alert for stinging insects, rodents, snakes, deer, and bears. Leave them alone if spotted.
    • Avoid poison ivy (“leaves of three, let it be”) and giant hogweed (8-14’ tall stems with small white flowers).
  • When finding hazardous, biohazardous, or radioactive materials, note location and call the police. A good rule of thumb is: If you do not know what the item is, don’t touch it.
  • Do not try to pick up tires, heavy objects, or roadkill. Instead, call 1-800-FIX-ROAD and a time will be scheduled to pick it up.

Scenic Views in the Pocono Mountains

Resources and Tips

Consequences of Littering

There are many types of littering, but all have consequences. Any improper disposal of trash is against the law in Pennsylvania. Analyze this chart for more information on how Pennsylvania enforces litter laws. Fines can run litterers hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on severity.

Common types of litter take years to decompose. Here’s a breakdown of typical litter objects and how long they typically take to decompose:

Cigarette butts: 1-5 years
Plastic bags: 10-20 years
Aluminum cans: 80-100 years
Plastic bottles: 450 years
Glass bottles: 1 million years

That’s time that the litter will be sitting in the environment, harming animals, effecting groundwater, breeding bacteria, and spoiling the beauty of nature.

Pick Up the Poconos Campaign

You may notice billboards, television and radio spots, sponsored social media posts, and segments in the news about Picking Up the Poconos. The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB) is using this campaign to shine a light on the litter and pollution of our beautiful, natural area. The bureau is working with numerous local waste disposal organizations, clean-up crews, community leaders, and more, to battle the problem. PMVB employees will be going out to beautify areas beginning in June.

Pocono Properties Taking Action on Waste

  • Camelback Resort – Does a yearly litter pick-up and has staff periodically throughout the year pick up the trash on property, along Camelback Road, and parts of Sullivan Trail.
  • Kittatinny Canoes – Every summer a 3-day clean-up of the Delaware River is held.
  • The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort – Annual River Road Clean-Up through Keep PA Beautiful.

Pocono Properties Staying Green

  • Pocono Raceway – Just one initiative to stay green is their solar farm committed to producing clean energy for the business, as well as some spillover for local homes.
  • Split Rock Resort & Golf Club – Collect all used shampoo and conditioner bottles and soaps, send them to a program called Clean the World, and they then recycle them and give them to children in need.
  • Mountain View Vineyard Winery & Brewery – Dry farming techniques cut back on water waste, mulching around vines promotes beneficial insects, and geothermal and solar energy naturally control conditions in the winemaking facility.
  • Barley Creek Brewing Company – Maintains a three-star certified green status from the Green Restaurant Association. Spent grain from the brewery and distillery gets recycled to a farmer, LED efficient lights and other equipment are installed throughout the property, environmentally-friendly to-go containers are used, and spent grain millings are even used to make handcrafted dog biscuits!

Tesla Charging Stations - Several Pocono Mountains destinations offer electric car charging through Tesla Motors’ Destination Charging Program: The French Manor Inn and Spa  The Settlers Inn at Bingham Park  Ledges Hotel  Cocoon Coffee House  Times House B&B  The Crossings Premium Outlets

Delaware Highlands Conservancy and our Green Lodging Partners - With every reservation, guests at participating hotels contribute directly to the Delaware Highlands Conservancy and the protection of clean waters, healthy lands and abundant outdoor recreation opportunities in the Upper Delaware River region. Green Lodging Partners in the Pocono Mountains include: The Lodge at Woodloch  Harrington House B&B  Hotel Fauchere • James Manning House B&B  Ledges Hotel  Roebling Inn on the Delaware  Santosha on the Ridge  The Settlers Inn  Woodloch Resort
 

For more information on how properties in the Poconos are keeping it green, visit the PMVB’s blog, Spotlight on Sustainability.