It truly is an enigma, the issue of persistent illegal dumping. The harmful effects of illegal dumping are so numerous and diverse, that it MUST be stopped with the utmost urgency and rigor. One negative consequence which ought to be sufficient motivation for the swift eradication of illegal dumping is the drastic spread of zoonotic pathogens via rats.
Pathogens which can be transmitted from animals to humans are commonly carried by rats and other rodents. And when waste is disposed in places without permitted and controlled facilities to safely store or dispose of said waste, it provides a ready source of nutrition and shelter for the dastardly rodents which carry the zoonotic pathogens. The rodents can spread the pathogens by means of their ecto- and endoparasites.
Thus, people do not even need to come into direct contact with the rodents to be infected. All that is necessary is for the ectoparasites, which the rats carry, to abandon ship in favor of a human host. The highly infectious power which rats wield can easily be proven, if one only reviews the history of the Bubonic Plague. The Bubonic Plague ravaged all of Europe, killing roughly 33% of its population. And this was all made possible by rats traveling via cargo ships.
Not surprisingly, urban areas suffer the most from this issue of increased infection rates. This is because many urban areas cannot effectively manage their waste, which leads to continuous creation of new illegal waste sites, which ultimately produces a rat’s utopia. Waste such as used tires, construction debris, old appliances and furniture, as well as general household, commercial and industrial waste provide a reliable source of nutrition and shelter for rodents and consequently a home base for the spread of zoonotic pathogens.
To make a difference, Public Works and Code Enforcement Departments need the right tools to implement an Illegal Dumping Enforcement Program. The best tools available are Illegal Dumping Cameras, especially designed to capture prosecutable evidence in remote areas.
Has your city equipped your departments with the right tools to combat illegal dumping?