PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The river used as a trash can instead of picking up litter like plastic bags and other debris, maintenance crews who said they were employed by PNC Park were caught on camera Thursday blowing trash right back into the water.
In a city working to “green” itself and a place that’s spent years cleaning the rivers to better standards, some found the act simply appalling.
“That’s really sad,” said Brenda Martin, who is visiting Pittsburgh. “It sort of defeats the purpose of being a city that wants to be known for being green. Isn’t it?”
James Freund came down to the river walk Thursday morning to fish, and was disturbed when he witnessed what the crew was doing. He said he even watched as a dead rat was blown back in the water.
“They should be picking it up with something,” said Freund. “They’ve got to have some kind of machine that could suck it up.”
KDKA’s Heather Abraham asked one of the crew members why they were putting trash back into the water; he said the litter comes from upstream, so they’re just putting it back in. But people using the river walk say that’s inexcusable.
“I think it’s rather sad if they’re just throwing the garbage back in the river; seems like you should be cleaning it up and taking it out, cause it’s [going to] have to be picked up somewhere,” said Stan North Martin.
“I wonder where does it go?” Brenda Martin added. “I mean, who then has to clean it up after it gets into the water?”
PNC Park spokesman Brian Warecki said they will look into the matter.
In a statement, they said: “Our employees are instructed and trained to clean and dispose of any trash properly while blowing natural debris such as twigs and dirt off of the river quay. If one of our employees blew trash into the river, that goes directly against our core business practice principles of environmentally-sustainable operations and that action will be addressed accordingly and immediately.”
Warecki, the director of communications, went on to say that PNC Park volunteers its employees and money towards the cleanup down along the river walk.
They also have several greening initiatives that they’re very passionate about including recycling hundreds of tons of trash.