Household Trash in Wilkes-Barre Area School District Dumpsters

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WILKES-BARRE -- Some people in Wilkes-Barre are finding a way around paying their trash pickup fees. Instead of paying for the weekly disposal, they're getting rid of their household garbage by tossing it in dumpsters at schools throughout the district.

Wilkes-Barre police announced they are investigating to see who is getting free trash disposal at school dumpsters.

People in Wilkes-Barre can only get their household garbage picked up by city haulers if they set it on the curb in specially marked blue bags. The bags cost $2 apiece.

It costs Lise Klingus of Wilkes-Barre more than $100 a year.

"I'm angry," Klingus said.

She's angry because while she pays for her trash pickup, she sees others getting a free ride by dumping their household trash at the GAR High School dumpsters that sit near her home.

"Last year, there was a sofa that sat out there for a good month," Klingus said. "A sofa and a mattress, because people know it's a dumping ground."

Klingus complained to Wilkes-Barre Area School District officials for more than a year.

This week she had enough. After the dumpsters were emptied Easter Monday, she heard someone near her home so she pointed her camera over the fence and took pictures.

She caught someone dumping trash brought in the bed of a pickup truck with distinctive Dallas Cowboys decals.

"The person was identified to me as a school district employee on a day off. School was closed."

She took pictures of that trash -- beer bottles, medicine, cigarettes, and an envelope addressed to a Glen Henderson.

Newswatch 16 went to Henderson's home. The distinctive pickup truck was there. No one answered the door.

Newswatch 16 has confirmed that Henderson is a maintenance worker at GAR but he's not alone in using the school dumpster.

On Tuesday, we also found beer cans, kitty litter, even what appears to be an oil filter.

GAR's assistant principal looked at the trash, saying he thought the dumpsters were locked.

We went to four other Wilkes-Barre Area schools and checked those dumpsters. In every single case, we could save a lot of money by driving up to the school's dumpster, dumping our trash, and avoiding any garbage pickup fees.

We found what appeared to be household trash at Meyers High School.

Instead of an on-camera interview, Wilkes-Barre Area Superintendent Brian Costello emailed a statement:

"I instructed our director of police operations to contract the Wilkes-Barre City Police Department to request a joint full investigation regarding this matter. We thank Dave Bohman and the concerned citizen in bringing this information to the district."

That concerned citizen is Lise Klingus.

"It's just wrong. It's theft of services. It's absolutely wrong," said Klingus.

Klingus said she was interviewed by a Wilkes-Barre police officer Wednesday afternoon.

The Wilkes-Barre Area superintendent tells Newswatch 16 by ordered locks for the dumpsters. He may also move some of them to less accessible areas in an effort to discourage people looking to save a few bucks by having the school district take care of their trash.


  • common sense stuff

    If your going to illegally dump, at least be sure that no items contain your name and address!

  • America lover

    If the former mayor of WB got away with stealing gas from the city pump then I doubt using a dumpster illegally is gonna raise eyebrows. Sad but true.

  • Just saying

    Did anyone notice the lids on the dumpsters were not closed because of being over filled? I would think that if this was in your backyard, you would have some concern of rats scavenging for food and being overwhelmed with stray cats. I would wonder, why whoever is in charge of the dumpster at the school, did not express concern. It is obvious a concern to this woman, as I am sure it would be to others, if it was in their backyard.

  • April

    This woman needs to get a life. You monitor the dumpster and take pictures? Sounds to me like you need a pass time or hobby instead of dumpster monitoring. But thank you for the Thursday morning laugh.

  • Raul

    Whoever is doing this is not really saving any money. You still have to purchase other bags to transport the trash, then burn gas driving to the dumpster.
    Also, “beer bottles, medicine, cigarettes, and an envelope addressed to a Glen Henderson” sounds like a lot of recyclables are being driven to those locations when recycling must be paid to the city whether you use the service or not.
    I agree that the rules are being broken, but the poor soul doing it seems to have a brain deficit (beer bottles, medicine and cigarettes might have something to do with it).

    • caps not on

      Yes it is….give him a promotion and a pay raise don’t forget he’s a unionized employee so NOTHING will happen.

  • Allie

    Seriously, why doesn’t Klinges worry about the drugs that are happening right down the street from her!!! This is what you are worried about. Every day I hear gun shots going on and I don’t think I would be that concerned with taking pictures of someone putting garbage in a dumpster! I think the police should be more on guard for the crime that affects lives than this

    • Seriously

      Have you tried to do anything about the drug problem or the gun shots? That’s an absurd request of one person to take on, when the police don’t do anything about it. Do you realize the consequences of one person taking on the drug lords? Let’s see you do it!

  • Hmmm

    Omg nooooo! Seriously I have to laugh at this news piece. So they actually sent someone out to a mans house to question him about trash. Come on this is so stupid. Obviously the school isn’t to worried about it if this has been going on for awhile.

  • WarningFakeNews

    A per bag fee is one of the dumbest solutions because people will find other places to dump the trash. It’s fortunate it landed in a dumpster, it could just be the side of the road. Not saying that this is nice or acceptable, but there’s just no way to police the entire city for this, let alone county. A per bag fee incentivizes dumping.

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