Illegal dumping is a crime that continues to infect many cities throughout the U.S. The problem grows alongside the piles of unlawfully dumped waste, negatively affecting the community in which the act takes place. When illegal dump sites are not quickly cleaned up, the problem often compounds itself in a type of “snowballing” effect, leading to further recurrences of the crime.
As this problem continues to grow exponentially, the attitude incurred by the community is one of negative negligence. The unsightly scene of illegal dump sites can lend to emotions that the community members do not seem to care about what happens to their neighborhood. The community can then become vulnerable to further acts of crime, such as vandalism and other public nuisance crimes, creating an atmosphere of an unsafe and crime-filled environment. The community neglect can then lead to further issues concerning various social disorders.
Community members experiencing crime-induced social disorders can become suspicious of others, which can then lead to depression and anxiety. This anxiety can cause weak social bonds between community members and, unfortunately, incite further crime which gains a stronghold in their neighborhoods.
As Charles E. Kubrin and Ronald Weitzer wrote in their New Directions in Social Disorganization Theory article describing crime commonly occurring in specific neighborhoods, “…weak social networks decrease a neighborhoods capacity to control the behavior of people in public, and hence increase the likelihood of crime.”
Given that illegal dumping can lead to further instances of crime, it is of the utmost importance for communities everywhere to promptly clean up dump sites and prevent illegal dumping.
What to do:
- Implement tough legislation against illegal dumping
- Take proactive measures to enforce the law
- Install active methods, such as illegal dumping cameras