Large piles of waste, used products, construction waste, and garbage dumped in non-designated dumping sites, such as the roadside, has become a common sight nowadays. Needless to say, it poses a great deal of danger to the environment and humans.
What Are the Causes of Illegal Dumping?
Let’s have a look at the factors that may contribute to illegal dumping.
1. Social Dynamics
Illegal dumping is seen as a minor issue in many countries. People don’t see it as much of a nuisance due to their lack of knowledge of its harmful impact. As a result, a number of people become accustomed to throwing waste in illegal dumping sites.
2. Higher Waste Production
Research shows that the increase in illegal dumping spots correlates with a higher degree of waste production. The rising amount of waste is attributed to the explosive population growth and a surge in consumerism.
Earlier, people relied on creative methods for using things. In the modern world, however, people are always in search of better products, such as buying the latest electronics, clothes, and home appliances. Hence, older appliances and devices are thrown out and contribute to the production of illegal waste.
3. Avoidance of Disposal Fees
Sometimes, people are against the idea of paying disposal fees for waste management. Instead, they attempt to throw their waste by themselves to save expenses. They believe that the charges for disposing of waste are too high. However, their short-sighted efforts only make matters worse.
The Effects of Illegal Dumping On the Environment
When waste is brought in large amounts to an environment, it can cause the following risks to the surrounding areas.
1. Wildlife Disruption
Illegal dumping can endanger the lives of animals. They can become ill after ingesting waste or get stuck in the construction debris, exposing them to predators. Non-native wildlife also gets attracted due to large piles of trash. The arrival of raccoons, mosquitoes, and other non-native animals can lead to a disease outbreak in the locality. Moreover, if the waste somehow ends up in a water source, fish could ingest toxic matter.
2. Soil and Water Contamination
When extensive waste accumulates in a single place, there are threats to the water quality and nearby soil. Unlike regulated landfills that protect the surrounding areas from contamination, illegal dumping sites are not equipped with similar systems. As a result, the runoff from hazardous waste goes into rivers, streams, and most worryingly, sources of drinking water. These chemicals mix with the soil and cause an area’s land to become infertile. It also hastens the growth of invasive vegetation known for being immune to chemicals. As chemicals make way into the vegetation, they can have adverse effects on food supply.
3. Natural Disaster
A pile of debris is usually flammable because different items combine to produce combustible gasses. When a dumping site isn’t assessed, there is a high probability that a spontaneous fire may break out and take the form of a full-fledged forest fire. Furthermore, dumped waste blocks natural water pathways and speeds up erosion.
Effects of Illegal Dumping On a Community
Illegal dumping doesn’t only inflict major damage to the environment, but it’s also detrimental to the community. If an illegal dumping site is created near your area, it can put your community at risk.
1. Cleanup Costs
Sometimes, non-profit organizations run donation drives for community cleanups. But, not all communities are privileged or lucky enough to receive such support. Consequently, citizens have no other choice other than footing the bill for dumping site cleanups. In these scenarios, the local government comes forward and allocates tax funds to these projects. Although the financial damage may not seem much at first, these costs reach the ceiling when there’s a need to clean hazardous waste. Since hazardous waste can affect the environment, it is disposed of differently than normal waste.
2. Health Issues
One of the major perils of illegal dumping is that it is causing illnesses to humans. Dumping sites are the go-to breeding ground for flies, mosquitoes, and other insects. Larger disease-carrying animals, like skunks and rats are also frequently seen around these sites. Diseases, such as yellow fever, malaria, and dengue fever spread due to these creatures.
Dumping sites that are easily visible can have a negative impact on the mental health of community members. Areas that are associated with dumping sites are notorious – many people call it ‘dirty’ and don’t feel safe or comfortable around them.
3. Lowered Property Values
In residential and urban areas, problems line up when people use vacant lots as a dump. Although it’s seen as illegal dumping, the visual aren’t too pleasing. If someone wants to rent or buy a home and they come, see, and smell the dumping site near it, they will not only avoid the area, but also inform others about their experiences. Soon, the property values of the area experience a drop due to the negativity linked to it. Also, neighborhoods with illegal dumping sites aren’t not very popular when it comes to development and funding projects and are neglected by the authorities.
There are multiple solutions to reduce or minimize illegal dumping. If it is occurring near your property, you can post signs that say “no dumping” or “no trespassing” in your property’s blind spots or heavily wooded areas. Alternatively, you can also install a video monitoring system. It serves as a deterrent to the offenders as well as provides evidence to the culprit.
If you need to remove waste from your property, you can contact Century Waste Management to rent a dumpster and dispose of it smoothly.