Images like this remind us why responsible waste disposal is important.
Of course if you have traveled to industrial or isolated parts of Oakland, Richmond or San Francisco (but not limited) you certainly have witnessed this sad situation.
Why is illegal waste disposal so prevalent recently?
Unfortunately, there has been in increase in illegal dumping all over the bay area. That being said in our opinion there are three major types of illegal waste disposal perpetrators.
Unscrupulous commercial haulers.
These shady types look to capitalize by dumping trash free of charge. Be aware of shady “business men” offering great deals on hauling your junk.
Often times unscrupulous haulers don’t invest time or money on their equipment so beware of unsafe looking unmarked trucks.
Obviously, an unmarked truck makes for an easier escape after an illegal fly by night dumping operation.
Selfish Private Citizens –
Waste disposal can be expensive and time consuming when done responsibly. Oftentimes citizens prefer to do the wrong thing and leave their trash in the right of way or on private property.
Also, this includes moving individuals who opt to put their trash on the curb rather than deal with it like responsible adults.
The type of contractor who runs off with your cash has also been known to dump illegally to save a buck.
Disposal of waste is expensive.
Of course the cost to environment, human safety, and public health makes illegal dumping a despicable and selfish act which by and large outweighs the importance of the bank account of any individual.
Illegal dumping is pervasive.
Similar to graffiti illegal waste disposal spreads like wildfire, polluters exploit the site and opportunists add and scavenge. Unchecked illegal dumping creates blight in already struggling communities.
In other words these polluter tourists exploit poor communities who often times are intimidated to report the crime.
Piles of debris must be cleaned up immediately in order to avoid this phenomenon.
Unknown trash sitting on soil leaches toxins.
Imagine car batteries and electronic waste sitting on bare soil leaching toxins into ground water and contaminating plants and animals.
Of course electronic waste, fluorescent bulbs and and batteries all require special disposal.
All things considered it’s doubtful the guy dumping on the railroad track knows or cares.
Water percolates through the filthy trash and electronic waste.
The recent storms have been a god send however when the rain water percolates through trash a toxic stew called leachate is created.
Lead, mercury, cadmium and beryllium, are just some of the ingredients in this toxic garbage tea.
In landfills this leachate (toxic tea) is captured and disposed of appropriately. Unfortunately it’s impossible to capture leachate in the streets.
In an effort to stem illegal electronic waste dumping we are providing a list of resources to the public.
- San Mateo County Recycleworks Website provides a plethora of drop off sites.
- In Oakland try a place called unwaste.
- For San Francisco ewasteSF runs a free drop off service.
Water flows downhill.
In our case the leachate will either percolate its way down into the soil and into the water table or directly into our storm drains which lead directly to the bay.
What can you do about illegal waste disposal?
Get involved, educate friends and family, simply calling the police is a way of stopping the act but educating people will last a life time.
Unfortunately some are ignorant of the dangers illegal dumping really poses to the environment and to the health and safety of others. Why not share this post with friends?
“Ok that’s cool and all but I want to report these polluters!”
The city of Oakland has been the hardest hit by illegal dumpers.
Finally they have had enough and are taking a stand.
For other cities call 911 as illegal dumping can be a safety hazard.
“I just need it off my property!”
Thought you would never ask.