Waste Management Problems in Rural Areas

Waste management is essential to the community, but not all people have access to good waste management. The World Bank estimates that 19% of the people in the United States live in remote rural areas.  That 19 percent, unfortunately, do not have the same waste management coverage as those who live in urban environments, which causes problems for the community.

Everado Diaz, who lives in the rural area of Brownsville, Texas, is frustrated with illegal dumping across the ditch near his house.  Diaz is tired of the ”mile stretch” of trash that covers the drainage ditch with couches and mattresses.  Apparently the illegal dumping has accumulated over the years, and Diaz nor the local officials “know who they are”. Illegal dumping in Cameron County is a problem not just near Diaz but throughout the whole county.

Pete Delgadillo, a Cameron County Constable, says it is hard to deal with illegal waste dumping in secluded areas because they have the “lack of manpower” to protect rural areas. Cameron County is currently working with the sheriff’s department to find ways on how to stop illegal dumping.

Counties with remote rural areas throughout the country are dealing with illegal dumping. Waste management in the local government seems to not have enough “manpower”. Finding tools that cost less “manpower” and are remote will prove to be an effective way to stop illegal dumping.  What tools does your city use for waste management problems?

Illegal dumping

The Effects of Illegal Dumping

Thousands and thousands of tons of illegal waste are dumped each year around the country.  It is a problem that affects people all over the United States. A side from the fact that illegal dumping is usually a felony in most states, it has consequences that affect everyone. Even if the dumper is not caught, there are consequences for the illegal dumping. Illegal dumping affects:

  • Environment
  • Public Health
  • Community


            Illegal waste takes up space that can be used for a constructive purposes like farming. Sometimes illegal waste has hazardous substances and chemicals that could cause damage to the soil, the air, and the surrounding groundwater. This water can be carried to water sources that is used for drinking. Improper disposal of materials can pollute natural habitats and cause death to life in a wide area. Trash can be consumed by animals, which can cause their death.

Public Health:

            Broken glass can cause human injuries like cuts which could possibility lead to infections. Illegal trash dumping can be an ideal breeding area for misquotes that can cause life threatening diseases. In fact, EPA says, illegal trash sites with tires cultivate an ideal breeding area “which can multiply 100 times faster than normal in the warm, stagnant water standing in scrap tire casings.” In addition, other animals could cycle through the material which could cause other diseases and illnesses.  Fires can become more frequent in such areas, because illegal dumping areas can cause combustion, or arson is common at these type of dumping sites. Lastly, waste dumping could leak into water sources that people drink from.


The more obvious effects of illegal dumping is it looks ugly. This ugliness affects the value of homes around the community, and possibly the overall moral of the people. Waste dumping can cause surrounding property damage.  Illegal dumping costs money. It cost money to clean up and to fix the surrounding damages. A lot of time,  businesses can even lose money from surrounding dump sites because they lose business. Lastly, it cost the dumper’s money. It cost him money because he pays taxes and his taxes go to clean up the dumping instead of something else. States pay millions of dollars to clean up dump sites, which has an overall effect on the person dumping.