Public health hazards
All illegal dumping is an imminent danger for the population. The health and safety of all is compromised. One of the biggest risks that illegal dumping can pose is the disease it can cause to humans.
Illegal dumping or littering poses a threat to public health by attracting unwanted visitors. These sites can be a breeding ground for animals and insects carrying dangerous diseases.
These illegal sites can be a breeding ground for flies and mosquitoes as well as disease-carrying animals such as rats, skunks and possums. Some of the life-threatening diseases that insects and animals can cause include dengue fever, yellow fever, encephalitis, and malaria.
Wildlife is disturbed
Animals are not immune to the impact of the illegal dumping of waste. In fact, they tend to feel the impact first. In the best of cases, they are slightly inconvenienced by a pile of garbage blocking their normal path.
Small creatures can get sick after eating garbage or potentially tangled in debris, making them easy targets for predators. If the runoff or the garbage itself reaches a source of water, fish may be depleted in oxygen or ingest the waste particles.
Waste also tends to attract wildlife which may not be not originally from this particular region. From mosquitoes to raccoons, this can lead to the appearance of new diseases and predators in the region, disrupting the natural flow of the ecosystem.
The environmental impact
When a massive amount of waste is in the same place, there is a risk to nearby soil and water. Unlike landfills sanitary facilities which aim to protect the surrounding area from contaminants, illegal landfills do not have integrated systems and constant monitoring of environmental safety.
One of the biggest risks that illegal dumping poses to humans is illness. The sites where the garbage has just come out are a place of reproduction for insects like mosquitoes and flies, but also for animals carrying diseases such as rats, skunks and possums.
If an illegal landfill site is not controlled, it increases the chances of a spontaneous fire which can develop and eventually become a full-blown forest fire. In addition, discarded waste can cause flooding by blocking the natural waterways or accelerating the erosion process.
The financial impact
Illegal dumping in North America has been a problem for several years. Thousands and thousands of tonnes of illegal waste dumped every year. Cities are spending millions of dollars to clean up illegal landfills.
For example, illegal dumping costs the city of Los Angeles about $12 million a year. The number of sites grows exponentially and is likely to be orphans across the United States. Several impacts are identified: social, economic, environmental, tourism besides the negative impacts on the fauna and flora.
We believe that the elimination or reduction of illegal dumping begins with awareness of the harmful effects of landfills illegal for nature and its inhabitants on improving the social and environmental responsibilities.
« Los Angeles City calls for non-profit agencies to step up and help combat its illegal dumping and litter crisis, which has grown to measures described by many as an “out-of-control” problem. »
City Administrative Officer of L.A.