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Effective Illegal Dumping Solution

Effective Illegal Dumping Solution

Illegal dumping is the dumping of waste illegally instead of an authorized method of disposal. The issues that piles of unlawfully dumped waste bring are complex and repetitive. Without proper abatement and deterrence, illegal dumping can quickly become more than just an issue of community neglectfulness.

Illegal dumping is not just an eyesore and a public health hazard. Piles of unlawfully dumped waste can also indicate a given community’s negative attitude towards their own environment. A lack of community pride inspired by illegal dump sites can lead to anxiety, depression, and suspiciousness of other residents in the neighborhood in which they reside.

Repeated acts of illegal dumping can give the feeling that a community is unsafe and contribute to further crime on an already vulnerable neighborhood. Piles of unlawfully dumped waste also serve as a visual representation of social disorganization and crime within a community.

Because of illegal dumping’s negative economic effects, the act contributes greatly to neighborhood decay. Illegal dumping results in lower real estate values and abandoned properties. This type of community blight invites other criminal behavior, such as graffiti and vandalism, drug sales and drug abuse, trespassing, and other types of public nuisance crimes.

Those who dump their waste illegally often feel like they will not be caught while committing the crime. Without a proper means of deterrence, illegal dumping will continue to affect many communities and negatively impact the residents who live there.

What should the community do?

Fortunately, there are creative ideas that not only solve the problem but can add to the city’s resources.  To do this, the city must implement a program that includes city teamwork, involving several departments. 

Implement an effective Illegal Dumping Program:

  • Coordinated efforts to educate the public and to increase public relation efforts.
  • Support from specified enforcement personnel to successfully prosecute individual cases.
  • Totally Portable, High-Resolution Cameras to catch and prosecute dumpers in the act.
The Negative Impacts of Illegal Dumping

The Negative Impacts of Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is a complex social, economic, and environmental issue which can most effectively be addressed through identification of its root causes. Illegal dumping can have a devastating impact on the neighborhoods where it regularly occurs. Communities with low-median family incomes, higher rates of petty crime, and a higher percentage of renters are amongst the most commonly afflicted by the piles of unlawfully dumped waste (1). The negative implications of illegal dump sites are vast and affect the community in physical ways, as well as psychologically.

When the residents of a neighborhood observe the piles of unlawfully dumped waste, their initial reaction is often one of disgust due to the lack of care and selfishness influenced by the perpetrators of the crime. These residents may start to feel ashamed that their community is being treated as though it were a trash can of sorts. The “no one cares” feeling illegal dumping invokes can leave residents feeling insecure and unsafe in their living environment and incite further criminal activity and social disorder.

The environmental devastation that illegal dumping causes is also a primary concern, involving many health risks to nearby ecosystems and humans alike. Pollution from fires caused by igniting hazardous waste materials can take years to properly contain, resulting in contaminated ground water and soil. Diseases which can be easily spread via illegal dump sites include leptospirosis and rat-borne diseases such as Hantavirus. Mosquitoes, attracted to the ideal conditions for reproduction in commonly dumped items such as used automobile tires, have been the sole cause behind the Zika and West Nile viruses.

In a November 2018 interview for the local CBS news station in Las Vegas, Adam Chaney of the Southern Nevada Health District is quoted as saying, “If you dump it, you’re going to drink it eventually. It’s going to contaminate our lake [Lake Mead], it’s an eyesore and it’s a nuisance. It costs the taxpayers, it costs the private landowners. And in general, it’s not good for our community; it doesn’t say good things about our community. We don’t want to live in a giant trash heap.”

Because the act of illegal dumping causes so many negative issues within our communities, it is time we do all we can to try to prevent this growing problem. Illegal dumping cameras provide cities with the means to combat the illegal dumping problem within their communities.

      References:

  1. Brandt, Amory A., Illegal Dumping as an Indicator for Community Social Disorganization and Crime, San Jose State University; 2017
The Problems and Cost of Illegal Dumping

The Problems and Cost of Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is quickly becoming a global problem. Cleaning up unsightly, hazardous garbage sites are mandatory, because they can easily pose a number of health risks, cause environmental damage, and contribute to urban blight. Used automobile tires that have been discarded to the side of a road, or in a rural area, can harbor mosquitoes when they contain stagnant water. Dump site mosquitoes can then transfer diseases such as West Nile Virus and the Zika Virus. Batteries and other electronics that have been disposed of unlawfully are easily combustible, igniting fires that cause air pollution and contamination of nearby ground water.  But what about the costs?

Unfortunately, for many heavily-populated municipalities, cleaning up illegal dump sites is no affordable task. Thousands of dollars are spent on clean-up crews and the equipment needed to haul the waste away. HAZMAT crews are brought in to assess any environmental concerns, as well as possible site contamination. Without a proper means of deterrence, as soon as one dump site is cleaned, another one quickly springs up in its place.

While the costs incurred because of illegal dumping varies from city to city, the means is almost always the same. For example, the average cost per year associated with cleaning up illegal dumping in San Francisco is 10 million., and according to Baltimore Public Works their cost in 2017 was $21,164,771.00. These figures are the norm for large cities who are struggling to combat the problem of illegal dumping.

With so much money being poured into cleaning illegal dump sites, these budgets would be better allocated to other areas of spending. If illegal dump sites were deterred and eradicated, the funds could be transferred to better use such as public transportation and community beautifying. What is your city doing to stop illegal dumping?

Illegal Dumping and Deadly Mosquitoes

Illegal Dumping and Deadly Mosquitoes

All across the U.S., cities and towns everywhere are dealing with the threats posed by the crime of illegal dumping. In addition to such issues as urban blight and the negative environmental impact, public health and wellness can also be adversely affected by illegal dumping.

Illegal dumping brings many different health risks to both the environment as well as to the people of the community in which the act takes place. Of these health risks, some of the most dangerous are introduced in the form of vector-borne illnesses carried by a very common insect, the mosquito.

The mosquito is an insect that can be found in nearly every part of the world. Sporting a large familial community of about 3,500 different species, mosquitoes have adapted and evolved to thrive in any environment befitting their particular need, which include breeding. Illegal dump sites are the perfect breeding ground because a female mosquito can lay as many as 200 eggs at a time in an amount of water no larger than half a teaspoon. After these eggs hatch, the “pre-pubescent” mosquitoes then become larvae, often called “wigglers” due to their movement in the water. The third stage of a young mosquito’s life is called the “pupal” stage. The “pupal” stage is the final step before becoming an adult mosquito, and thus, becoming a threat to human health.

Nowadays, it is not at all uncommon to read about the latest cases of West Nile or Zika viruses afflicting the population of a nearby town; diseases which are solely transmitted by the common mosquito. Malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever are diseases that are also spread exclusively by the mosquito, the transmission of which can have deadly consequences for those afflicted.

Because the entirety of a mosquito’s pre-adult life is spent in water, certain habitats easily benefit the excessive breeding of this deadly insect. Used automobile tires, an item often found in illegally dumped waste piles, provides this perfect mosquito nursery habitat. Other unlawfully dumped items, such as plastic trash bags placed outside proper trash receptacles, also have the ability to retain rain water and supply mosquitoes with a place in which to lay their eggs.

One of the few ways to combat these mosquito-borne diseases is to prevent the crime of illegal dumping using illegal dumping cameras.  How is your city combating illegal dumping?