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Illegal Dumping Ignites Fires

Illegal Dumping Ignites Fires

Illegal Dumping Ignites Fires In the year 2019, there were 50,477 wildfires reported in the United States. It is hard to predict when fire disasters will occur, but they can be prevented. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 90% of the fires are started by people through negligence. An unattended campfire or a downed power line can cause a fire, but did you know that illegal dumping can also cause fires?  One of the biggest causes of fire is piles of garbage in dry, hot areas. When trash is not discarded properly, it can cause fires. Illegal dumping of tires causes the worst type of fires, as the oil within the tires once ignited is hard to put out. And according to the EPA, tire fires cause toxic gases and hazardous compounds that pollute our environment.  It is important that the officials of our communities do everything they can to prevent illegal dumping. Here are some suggestions:

  • Staff Resources: Staff that is specially trained and dedicated in preventing illegal dumping. Besides responding and investigating complaints and prosecuting, this includes educating the public.
  • Educate: Use Billboards, Social Media, and News Outlets to get the word out to Educate your community. Talk about the dangers of illegal dumping and the consequences both environmentally and individually.
  • Provide Hot lines: Hot lines are a very resourceful tool that every city should have available.  When a citizen sees an act of illegal dumping, they can call, text or email information to the Enforcers.
  • Legislation: Every city needs laws and fines to enforce the battle against illegal dumping
  • Tools:  Illegal dumping cameras.  These cameras are specifically designed to provide prosecutable evidence needed in the war against illegal dumping.

When measures are taken to prevent illegal dumping, we can prevent fires. It is time to start taking illegal dumping seriously.

Tools to Combat Illegal Dumping

Tools to Combat Illegal Dumping

Illegal Dumping is a national epidemic, disturbing people in the urban neighborhoods and the inner cities.  Waste sites attract and become a breeding ground for rodents and mosquitoes.  Both creatures can carry and transmit harmful diseases to humans.

It is important cities implement a program to prevent the hazards and blight illegal dumping causes.

Effective programs implement an enforcement part of the program and some cities generate revenue to offset the cost of illegal dump site cleanups.  For a city to be able to generate revenue, it must have strong legislation, communication and teamwork between city departments and tools to help the designated department get the job done.

Among many cities who have developed an illegal dumping program, California’s Department of Resources and Recovery (CalRecycle) has developed and provided a tool to help municipalities within California combat illegal dumping within their community.  Within the Enforcement part of the guide, there are four needed strong actions:

  • Staff Resources: Dedicated staff with training and authority to educate the public, respond and investigate illegal dumping complaints, which includes interviews and making arrests
  • Tools and Resources: Resources are paramount to helping the staff combat the illegal dumping problem, which should include:
    • Data management systems to locate and map hot spots
    • Hot lines to receive complaints about illegal dumping
  • Administrative Actions: An effective illegal dumping program must have Orders, Fines and an Administrative Law Judge, to handle major cases
  • Judicial Prosecution:  Illegal dumping programs need to have the ability to use the judicial process to determine guilt and obtain abatement.

Without a strong illegal dumping program and tools to implement the program, cities will continue to face the blight and community panic illegal dumping causes.

How to Stop Illegal Dumping

How to Stop Illegal Dumping

Illegal Dumping has gotten out of hand.  According to the Los Angeles County Public Works, “People usually dump illegally to avoid collection and disposal fees, or because they believe proper disposal is just ‘too much trouble’.”   This is very unfortunate for our communities who receive the negative consequences of higher taxes for cleanup, environmental hazards, and a breeding ground for rats.

The cost of a one-time cleanup and detoxing of an area can cost thousands of dollars.  But to leave the mess is just not an option.  The best option is to stop the illegal dumping before it happens, preventing the cost of cleanup, preventing the chemicals and toxins from entering the ground water, and preventing the rats and mosquitoes from breeding.  The best areas to live are communities that care about their community!  So, what can a community do to prevent illegal dumping?

Here are some key points to help deter illegal dumping:

  • Educate the public through the schools and through community awareness groups about the costs, chemical hazards and dangers incurred by illegal dumping
  • Create safe, public-friendly waste disposal options and advertise them
  • Create laws that impose stiff fines for the perpetrators and advertise these stiff fines
  • Use Illegal Dumping Cameras to catch the perpetrators in the act
  • Use Social Media to ask the public to identify the perpetrators
  • Follow through with quick clean up

These steps will invite the citizens to be involved and help deter the criminal activity of illegal dumping within your community.

Hazards of Illegal Dumping Sites

Hazards of Illegal Dumping Sites

Illegal dumping needs to be managed and stopped. Illegal waste dumping, a problem around the country, causes environmental and physical hazardous that could cause harm to children. What should be a waste management issue becomes safety management for children. 

Although illegal dump sites are hazardous to all people and animals, trash environments are especially dangerous for children, who see the abandoned refrigerators and couches piled up as an invitation to “playhouse”.  Besides abandoned objects, dump sites contain hazards like sharp objects, construction debris, and disposed chemicals. 

Hawaii News Now speaks of the neighborhood, Makakil, who are experiencing illegal dumping in their community. At the dump site, there are a few refrigerators and couches that the children play on. The parents in the community say it’s a “hazard for children”, and they want the problem to stop.

There many more communities around the US that have the issue of illegal waste dumping. Unfortunately this issue has become a safety concern for some parents, like in Makakil. Local governments should be dealing with waste management so local communities can be safer, but instead illegal dumping has become a safety problem for parents. Local governments should incorporate ways to stop illegal dumping in their waste management program, so that the dumping nuisance does not increase the concern parents have in protecting their children.

What is your city doing to stop illegal dumping?