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Illegal dumping site without a trash container rental Mobile, AL

3 Effects of Illegal Dumping: Part I – Effect on Local Ecosystems

Illegal dumping is a prevalent issue worldwide. There is an estimated 1 million tons of illegally dumped waste each year. Illegal dumping entails any large deposit of waste – 15 pounds or more – generally in woods, alleys, vacant lots, and other areas.

Illegal dumping is often a problem due to a lack of proper disposal options, a lack of education on these options, or simply not taking the time to go to the local landfill. Additionally, there is a lack of monitoring by authorities, and most punishments entail just a slap on the wrist. Even if you haven’t committed the crime, you and your community will still pay for it in a variety of ways.

Illegal dumping site without a trash container rental Mobile, AL

When trash is brought into an environment, there are a number of potential risks to the area and the animals nearby. Consider the following:

1. Soil and Water Contamination

When a large quantity of waste is placed in one place, there is a risk to soil and water quality nearby. Unlike regulated landfills that work to protect the surrounding region from contaminants, illegal dumping sites do not have these systems or monitoring for environmental safety. In these situations, runoff from hazardous waste can seep into streams, rivers, and even drinking water. These chemicals can also infiltrate into the soil causing that area of land to be infertile or encourage the spread of invasive vegetation that is immune to chemicals. Chemicals also could enter vegetation, making its way into the food supply.

2. Wildlife Disruption

Animals are some of the first to feel the effect of illegal dumping. In a best-case scenario, wildlife is only mildly inconvenienced but this is generally not the case. Smaller wildlife may become ill due to ingesting trash, or may become entangled in the debris, making them easy targets for predators. Trash also attracts non-native wildlife to the area. Mosquitos, racoons, and other non-native animals can contribute to the spread of disease in the area. Additionally, if the trash makes it to a water source, fish often ingest particles.

3. Natural Disaster Risk

Trash is generally flammable due to various items mixing together releasing combustible gasses. If a dumping site is left unchecked, the risk of spontaneous fire can grow leading to a full-fledged forest fire. In addition, dumped garbage can contribute to blocking natural pathways of water or speeding up erosion.

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