In the Bay Area (especially in Alameda County and Contra Costa County), illegal dumping is a big issue.
While some assume illegal dumping and homelessness go hand-in-hand, SaveTheBay.org reports that only 3% of all street trash comes from homeless encampments. The rest comes from fly-by-night haulers who dump waste illegally.
As illegal dumping continues, it affects everyone who lives, visits, and works in the Bay Area. So what’s the solution?
The Environmental and Social Impacts of Illegal Dumping
Illegal dumping hurts environments and communities. Here’s how:
Trash doesn’t belong in the environment. When illegal dumping introduces trash into the landscape, these things happen:
Soil and Water Contamination. When waste builds up in one place, it impacts soil and water sources nearby. Illegal dumping also creates dangerous runoff that eventually contaminates soil and drinking water.
Wildlife Disruptions. Animals are some of the first to suffer the impacts of illegal dumping. In mild cases, trash buildup may interrupt their migratory paths. In severe cases, animals may become ill after consuming trash or may die by becoming entangled in debris - which is particularly common in fish and sea birds.
Increased Risk of Fire. Illegal dumping increases the risk of a deadly blaze taking place. The reason for this is simple: garbage is flammable. When illegal dumpsites build up, they become likely to spontaneously combust, starting a blaze that could become a deadly forest fire.
In addition to affecting the environment, illegal dumping also impacts communities in the following ways:
Health Risks. Not only are dump zones breeding grounds for insects, but they become hot spots for animals that transmit diseases, such as rats and skunks.
Decreasing Property Values. It’s hard to claim top dollar for a home that’s near an illegal dumpsite. Not only are trash heaps unsightly, but buyers are aware of the health and lifestyle implications of living in such a place.
Rising Taxes. When illegal dumping becomes an issue, citizens foot the bill. Unless nonprofits tackle the problem, the local government will allocate funds to pay for cleanup projects. This creates higher taxes and greater out-of-pocket expenses for residents.
3 Ways to Prevent Illegal Dumping
Illegal dumping is a community issue, but it’s also something we can get proactive about ending. If you want to prevent illegal dumping, here are a few tips to follow:
1. Always get a Receipt
If you’re using a professional hauler, request a receipt. This will provide proof that your items have been dumped at a sanctioned dumpsite.
2. Do it Yourself
While not everyone has the time or manpower to move their items, you can avoid the risk of unethical haulers by opting to take Items to landfills, recycling centers, or transfer stations on your own.
3. Hire a Reputable Hauler
Since the majority of illegal dumping comes from professional haulers and dumpers, the first line of defense is to be careful who you hire. While bargain haulers can do a good job, many dump your items illegally.
Here’s how to find a reputable hauler:
Check the hauler’s online reviews to make sure they’re a legitimate business.
Ask to see a business license. If the business is claiming to be based in Alameda County, you can verify their business license here.
Request proof of insurance. All reputable hauling companies will carry business insurance. Be wary of anyone who doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to ask for a copy of their insurance. This is a common request and any professional company should have no problem providing a copy of their insurance for you.
Do Your Part to End Illegal Dumping
When you hire a hauler, vet them thoroughly before you sign on the dotted line. While a cheap hauler may seem like a dream-come-true, many dump items illegally to avoid disposal fees.
Unfortunately, if you hire someone who does this, you may be at fault in the eyes of the law.
That’s right! You may incur a fee of $250-$10,000 if you hire a hauler who dumps your junk illegally, plus the additional cost of having to clean up the illegally dumped pile for a second time! Avoid this by working only with reputable companies.
Companies like Nixxit abide by the laws and discourage illegal and harmful dumping and will always responsibly dispose of items in locations that help protect our environment and communities.
Book your job and learn more now.