Barrel Dumped

Fires Caused by Illegal Dumping

Often, illegal dumping is an overlooked problem in both rural and populated areas. The severity of the issue, however, seems to grow alongside the piles of illegally dumped waste.

One of the most dangerous and critical complications that can arise from unlawfully disposed garbage is fire. It is not uncommon to hear of a precariously discharged cigarette butt or used automobile oil, one of the most common and improperly disposed waste products which can easily combust given the correct environmental conditions, being the cause of a large roadside inferno.

Some people, in an effort to cut corners and save money on fees, often attempt to burn the used scrap tires rather than utilize the lawful and proper methods of recycling. This kind of illegal action can have disastrous effects on the environment, as well as cause large-scale wildfires in rural areas. Other offenders of highly volatile and illegally dumped materials include demolition and land clearing contractors whose unused portions of explosive materials end up in unlawful trash heaps.

The devastating consequences of these blazes caused by illegal dumping are far-reaching. Entire families are often left homeless when their property and possessions are reduced to smoldering ashes. These fires leave little to no vegetation in the ground to prevent potential mud slides from occurring and causing even more wide-spread destruction.

Repeat offenders and dumpers of hazardous materials face higher penalties for dumping their garbage illegally but are rarely caught in the act. It is up to our communities to make sure those responsible for committing this ludicrous crime are held accountable.

Here are some actions items you can do to help your community with the Illegal Dumping problem:

  • Report any Illegal Dump Sites
  • If you witness the dumping, take a picture or write down:
    • The license plate number
    • The description of the vehicle
    • What was dumped
  • If the Illegal Dumping occurs on your private property, post signs according to the laws of your city.  (Following the city requirements allow code enforcement officers to help with appropriate action)
  • Talk with your city council about buying Illegal Dumping Cameras