Illegal dumping is a problem that affects communities both rural and urban but many people don’t realize the true costs. In the United States, illegal dumping can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the location and contents of the dumping. This increasingly large problem, is affecting our air, water, soil, and our economy.
One thing that is obvious is society’s lack of understanding around proper waste disposal. Despite the fact that many states have enacted laws to address the problem, people still aren’t sure where or when to properly dispose of items such as bulky furniture, hazardous medical supplies and construction debris, to name a few. Every state has property that is licensed to receive and process waste and several laws have been passed over the years to enforce the use of those designated areas.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 was passed to focus on protecting the environment from the hazards of illegal garbage. The act set national goals to:
- protect human and natural health
- preserve energy in the disposal process
- reduce the amount of waste generated
- ensure proper waste management is enforced
Other countries have taken up legislation to decrease illegal dumping too. After implementing that fences must surround designated dumping areas in rural Australia, statistics showed that in a year 80% of those areas still had illegal trash dumped there despite efforts to limit access. In most cases, prevention is at the root of diversion, but what can we do in our everyday lives to educate ourselves and each other about proper disposal?
What Can We Change?
The most important part of any crisis is understanding how you alone can facilitate progress. First and foremost, don’t leave big trash out on the corner! Call Gone for Good to pick-up and repurpose your junk. Don’t contaminate recycling bins. Any liquid or food waste can not be present in a recycling load, depending on the amount, this could ruin the entire load. Know your state and local laws regarding dumping. Since this varies from region to region make sure you are familiar with your local resources.
Illegal dumping is becoming more common and we can’t stand for this. Our air, water, soil and economy face devastating circumstances if we do not change. Educate yourself about the laws and contact Gone for Good for any big haul that you’re just not sure about.