It may be tempting to think that a few bits of trash tossed beside the road or hidden in the underbrush is no big deal, but the truth is: illegal dumping is a big deal. It can endanger the environment, pose a public health risk and cost taxpayers millions of dollars every year, too. In many states, illegal dumping is a felony and can carry a hefty penalty if you get caught. Before you make the mistake of adding to the problem of illegal dumping, consider how it will impact you and those around you.
Illegal Dumping Harms the Environment
Trash takes up space that can be used for constructive activities, destroys the natural beauty of the earth and contaminates the soil and groundwater. Trash that contains hazardous materials can break down releasing dangerous chemicals or contaminants into the soil. These chemicals can leach into the soil when it rains and eventually reaches groundwater and infiltrate local drinking water or lakes and streams. Trash dumped illegally in waterways and streams can disrupt the flow of water causing flooding and erosion in nearby areas. This, in turn, compromises the health of fish and wildlife and may pose a threat to humans as well.
Illegal Dumping Poses a Public Health Risk
Piles of trash are often a breeding ground for insects, rodents and disease-carrying organisms. One of the most common issues is mosquito breeding in water-filled tires or abandoned containers. Because mosquitoes can carry life-threatening illnesses, uncontrolled breeding in an illegal dump site can affect an entire community. Other health risks include injuries from broken glass or jagged metal, accidental poisoning or pesticide exposure, the spread of blood-borne pathogens from old needles or contaminated materials and an increased chance of fires from combustion in the sun.
Illegal Dumping is Costly
States and communities must invest man-hours and tax dollars in monitoring and cleaning up illegal dumping sites. The cost skyrockets if the trash infiltrates the soil or water requiring extensive efforts to eliminate the risks to the environment. Tax dollars spent on cleaning up illegal dump sites cannot be used for other community projects. Illegal dumping that creates an eyesore may also reduce property values in your community or make selling your home more difficult.
Do Your Part to Stop Illegal Dumping
The easiest way to stop illegal dumping is to start at home. If you, or your family, have waste to get rid of, rent a dumpster to take care of the problem. Likewise, if you are a landlord, you can help your tenants by providing a dumpster for their use, too. If you see illegal dumping sites, take a photo of the site and note its location (use GPS coordinates if possible) and report it to your local authorities right away.
If you need help getting rid of trash from your home or business, contact Debris Box today. Our friendly staff can help you decide what size box is right for you.