Prevent Illegal Dumping and Harmful Bacteria

Prevent Illegal Dumping and Harmful Bacteria

Illegal dump sites can contain many different types of solid waste. Used and discarded mattresses, bags of garbage, automobile tires, and construction refuse are all commonly dumped items that have been unlawfully disposed. These piles of illegally dumped trash can be found in both rural and metropolitan areas all over the U.S. Illegal dumping most often occurs in areas where perpetrators of the crime cannot be seen or caught while committing the act.

Because the crime of illegal dumping occurs nearly everywhere, the health risks directly inflicted by unlawfully discarded waste threatens the entire community where this crime takes place. The consequences of illegal dumping occur all too often. Entire bodies of water, such as lakes and rivers, can easily become contaminated by hazardous materials being dumped illegally nearby. Fragile ecosystems can be rendered irreparable due to damage sustained by illegal dump sites.

Illegal dumping is a perfect breeding ground for thousands of different types of bacterium. These bacteria replicate and thrive in the decaying waste that composes an illegal dump site. Rotting food, dirty diapers, and restroom waste all contribute to the health hazards imposed by illegal dumping and the bacteria these sites harbor.

Bacteria are microorganisms that cannot be seen by the naked eye, and as such, don’t seem like a substantial threat until these pathogens infect a host; as anyone who’s ever developed a serious infection would attest to. While some species of bacteria are considered beneficial, the bacteria infesting an illegal dump site are downright dangerous.

Salmonella bacteria, which are common to uncooked poultry and eggs, can easily make its way into garbage and contaminate the entirety of an illegal dump site in less than a day. Consequently, any animal or human that comes into contact with the contaminated site can spread this dangerous pathogen and further infect common areas where the bacteria thrive. A member of the Salmonella family, Salmonella typhi is the bacterium responsible for the dreaded Typhoid fever. E. Coli is another harmful bacteria that can infect soil and contaminate ground water where it quickly replicates. E. Coli is often introduced via garbage at illegal dump sites and can be spread by both humans and animals. There are over 2,000 different strains of dangerous bacteria that are available to thrive in the environment illegal dump sites provide.

Efforts to try to control outbreaks of these dangerous pathogens are proving futile. With each new generation of bacterium becoming more resistant to treatments of anti-biotics, a new means of control must be established. Basic abatement and prevention of excessive bacteria breeding grounds, like illegal dump sites, can only help future generations of people who may otherwise become infected by these deadly microorganisms.

Illegal Dump Sites Attract Crime

Illegal Dump Sites Attract Crime

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
Illegal dump site

Illegal Dumping and Societal Health

Illegal dump sights are an unpleasant picture to behold. However, did you know that illegal dumping brings more than unpleasantness?

The illegal deposit of any waste causes serious concern for a community’s health and safety. For example, the collective dumping of waste onto a repeated area may cause children to mistake an old and dangerous freezer for a play house or other toy, causing potential injury to the children. In addition, there are plenty of various, sharp objects such as broken glass, nails and used syringes awaiting harm to whoever wanders into an abandoned waste pile.  And according to the Environment Protection Agency’s Illegal Dumping Research Report, “illegally dumped asbestos was thought to be on the rise and was commonly cited as being the most problematic… due to the health and safety risks…”

Beyond obvious physical harm to communities, unlawful deposits of waste transfer various unseen diseases and viruses. With an increase of rain this year, mass amounts of wet garbage are a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. According to the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) mosquitoes cause more suffering than any other organism and can carry life-threatening diseases, such as: Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, Encephalitis, Malaria, and the scary Zika Virus. Common sense dictates that illegal trash grounds will also attract other unpleasant insects and trash loving animals such as rats, raccoons, and skunks which spread further disease and health risks.

The act of illegal dumping is beyond unpleasant, it causes serious health threats to the public and can even increase the frequency of human diseases. Illegal dumping is not simply an issue of making cities and neighborhoods a “clean” community, it is an issue of environmental and societal health, and making cities and neighborhoods a safe community.


Illegal Dumping – Breeding Mosquitoes

Illegal dumping sites are a breeding ground for all kinds of diseases and mosquitoes.  In addition to rodents and the microscopic organisms, there are the disease carrying insects.  These creatures enter into the human domain, carrying with them their diseases, or become infected after biting a disease carrying source.  Some diseases transmitted by the mosquito in North America are Malaria, West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, and the most recent scare, Zika Fever.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, Mosquitoes require water to undergo their life cycle.  The four stages of life, hatching from an egg to becoming an adult flying insect, can take anywhere from 4 days to a few months, depending on the temperature and other environmental factors.  The female flying insect then searches for a blood meal, which can be an animal or a human.  After feeding, the female mosquito lays the eggs on or near water.

According to The American Mosquito Control Association, AMCA, a nonprofit organization that provides information and education to help communities suppress the mosquito population,  many mosquito problems in your neighborhoods are likely to come from water filled containers.

Now, imagine the unintended containers left at an illegal dump site.  Just to name a few, there are tires, mattresses, and toys.  Left unattended these articles accumulate more than enough stagnate water to attract and breed mosquitoes.

With the large amounts of rain and snow most cities have experienced this winter and spring, there is a lot of standing water.  And there are a lot of Illegal Dumping Sites.  Therefore, the probability of pestilence is high this year.

Illegal Dumping is a problem cities should take seriously. Thankfully, most people dispose of their trash in a responsible way.  However, there are some who do not, and the rest of the population is counting on the cities to do everything they can to prevent the  mosquito borne diseases that are plaguing the communities.  What is your city doing to prevent illegal dumping, the mosquito breeding grounds?