The unlawfully disposed piles of solid waste that constitute illegal dump sites create many problems for the community in which this crime takes place. Environmental hazards and lowered property values are just the tip of the iceberg when the illegal dumping problem is not closely controlled. In addition to these issues, public health hazards associated with illegal dumping are also a prominent threat in many communities.
The growing problem of illegal dumping is due to the fact that if an illegal dump site is not quickly cleaned, the likelihood of further recurrences of the crime climbs exponentially. The “snowballing” effect that these dump sites produce invites a multitude of vermin and dangerous bacteria to potentially infect citizens living nearby with various diseases and ailments, and the results can prove deadly.
It is no myth that discarded trash begets rats, raccoons and other pests, resulting in an ideal breeding ground within illegal dump sites. Many of these types of scavenger rodents bring with them various diseases, diseases which, if not properly treated, can result in serious illness. Rats, for example, have been famous for centuries for helping spread the Bubonic Plague in the mid-14th century. The “Black Death”, as it was known, wiped out roughly 60 per cent of Europe’s total population, with an estimated 75 to 200 million deaths as a result of the disease.
Rat urine is also responsible for the spread of Leptospirosis, a disease which often results in kidney and liver damage. Hantavirus, a debilitating bronchial disease, is spread via air particles from infected rat feces and urine and is currently one of the most commonly transmitted rat-borne diseases.
In an effort to try to eradicate rat-borne disease, it is important to stop the problem before it starts. Illegal dump sites are havens for breeding rats and the health threats they bring with them. Preventing illegal dumping is an effective means by which we also prevent these terrible diseases from afflicting the people of our communities.