Illegal dumping, is the dumping of waste illegally instead of using an authorized method such as curbside collection or using an authorized dumpster. It is the illegal deposit of any waste onto land, including waste dumped or tipped on a site with no license to accept waste
There is approximately 100 million tons of illegal garbage lying around the world at any given time. It’s a problem that affects all parts of the United States, particularly big cities and rural areas.
The Difference between littering and illegal dumping?
Litter is generally defined as a small quantity of waste disposed of illegally (e.g., throwing a candy wrapper out a car window). Illegal dumping is generally recognized as disposing of a larger volume or weight of waste/debris (e.g., dumping furniture, tires, mattresses, or construction debris).
Immediate health risks posed by illegal dump sites include physical and chemical injury to people, especially children, coming into contact with dangerous debris, such as rusty nails, chemicals, or sharp metals.
Other adverse health risks come into play when dangerous chemicals, like automobile fluids, household cleaners, industrial wastes, appliances containing chemicals (e.g. refrigerators), and tires, are illegally disposed of. The chemicals leach into the soil and area waterways. This is the same soil we use to grow crops and the same water we drink.
A third negative consequence common to illegal dumping sites is the ideal conditions these places make for rodents, vermin, and mosquitoes. Disease-carrying rodents love to call these places home, and this poses a major health hazard to anyone living nearby.
Likewise, mosquitoes thrive inside the moist, warm conditions offered by disposed of tires. In fact, EPA report states mosquitoes “multiply 100 times faster than normal in the warm, stagnant water standing in scrap tire casings.”
Illegal dumping costs you money
“Out of sight, out of mind” is often the mindset of people who dump wastes illegally, but that’s far from reality. Cleaning up, monitoring, and enforcing instances of illegal dumping cost taxpayers a significant amount of money each year.
Illegal dumping also drives down property values due to safety concerns and aesthetic reasons. Additionally, it negatively affects residential and commercial development, so local economies suffer as well.
Whether you realize it or not, “midnight dumping” as it’s sometimes called affects you financially, even when you’re not the offender.
Aside from being an eyesore, illegal dumping wreaks havoc on the environment. As previously mentioned, chemicals from wastes and certain appliances can leach into soil and local waterways causing damage to plants, wildlife, and water quality.
Other issues include increased risk of flooding and forest fires. Wastes dumped in waterways can block the natural flow of water and lead to flooding issues over time. Illegal dumps are also notoriously susceptible to fire caused spontaneously or by arson. Fire destroys area forests and homes, causing both an environmental and financial disaster.