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Environmental damage can begin right in our own neighborhoods when people illegally dump items where they do not belong. As defined, illegal dumping it is the abandonment of waste in places other than authorized sites. It can include dumping of your trash into someone else’s container, abandoning items along a public roadway, or leaving them in an open field or vacant lot, or any other unacceptable location.
The effect can become cumulative. Where one item is dumped, often many items can begin to accumulate, either tossed by one individual or as the effect of others viewing this location as an easy dump site. When noticeable quantities of junk build up, the site becomes an open dump.
People toss all kinds of items with some of the more common dumped items including trash and garbage, old tires, mattresses, household appliances and furniture, yard waste, paints, fuels and chemicals. Other dumped items include construction materials left over from a residential job. Even leaving household goods on the curb with a “FREE” sign can be considered illegal dumping.
Illegal dumping is a significant problem with serious consequences. Chemicals and pesticides that are dumped on the ground or into storm drains or waterways can pollute the soil or leach into the water or air supply, creating serious health hazards for plants, wildlife and humans alike.
Jurisdictions are taking the issue seriously as well since illegal dumping it is considered a criminal offense. In Manassas, Virginia, residents who are moving or remodeling and who leave large quantities of trash at the curb can face fines up to $2,500, jail time, and removal charges of up to $400.
In Washington, DC, the Police Department’s Environmental Crime Unit is hard at work cleaning up the district using illegal dumping signage and high-tech surveillance cameras to catch illegal dumpers in action. If caught, a perpetrator’s fines can run as high as $40,000.
Maryland, too, is cracking down on illegal dumping with signs on MD highways posting maximum fine amounts in highly-visible numbers. Illegal dumping here can result in a five-year prison sentence for a higher penalty or a 30-day jail sentence and a $1,500 fine for lesser charges.
The most common reason for illegal dumping is laziness. People can’t be bothered to take items to the landfill or appropriate dumping location. Or they falsely believe that if one person dumps their items in a location that it must be okay to add to the pile. Another reason is cost; fees are sometimes incurred with disposal.
The easiest and simplest way to remove items from your home or business is to call 123JUNK. Our professional team members can handle any size job, and know how and where to dispose of items both legally and responsibly. We even clean up illegal dumping sites when contracted for the job.
Don’t let illegal dumping or piles of unwanted items or garbage destroy our environment, or ruin your aesthetic views. If you are in Maryland, Northern Virginia or Washington DC, all it takes is a call to 123JUNK. Contact us today at 1-800-364-5778 to set your pickup appointment.
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