You’re driving around town, and something catches your eye in the distance. Sometimes it’s an abandoned washing machine tilted on its side or an old cushion-less couch, all large and random, yet potentially costly. These randomly placed objects are the result of illegal dumping, an unfortunate common practice that come with environmental consequences.
It happens all the time when people are moving or looking towards getting rid of old valuables like electronics. They end up discarded on private and public spaces. While getting rid of old e-waste or furniture is a minor inconvenience, the environment and community benefit from having it properly removed.
What is Considered Illegal Dumping?
Illegal dumping depends on the bulk and volume of the item left behind.
Dumping differs from littering based on the volume and scale of the items. Improperly discarded cell phones, computers or kitchen appliances, from stoves and refrigerators to furniture like bed frames or mattress are considered dumping.
Littering involves smaller pieces like cell phones, computers mice, small clocks, cables or chargers and calculators among others.Although the pieces are smaller, littering is just as harmful because when the winds blow, the trash spreads across the city.
How High is the Charge?
According to the LA county department of public works,” California Penal code 374.3 makes illegal dumping on punishable by a fine up to $10,000”. Depending on the case, individuals may face a misdemeanor or felony charge.
Old televisions, broken computer monitors, damaged kitchen appliances among other e-waste gets scattered on desert landscapes and near residential homes in Los Angeles County. Because of the prevalence of illegal dumping, individuals who provide information that leads to a conviction are rewarded $1,000 by the Bureau of Street Services in Los Angeles. The reason for this reward is because major cities report spending millions of taxes-payer dollars to clean up as a result of illegal dumping.
What are the Damages to the Environment?
The effects of illegal dumping are visible in desert and city landscapes, sometimes hidden in plain sight. There is valid reason why waste disposal has defined process, because of potential health risks. Illegally dumping e-waste or car parts create breeding grounds for vermin and insects, especially mosquitos who are attracted to damp spaces.
There is also the justifiable concern with fire outbreaks from dumped electronics. Imagine highly flammable materials that spend weeks in hot temperatures. When there is a fire outbreak in the desert, there is a chance it will spread causing devastation to the surrounding habitat. Electrical waste is also thrown into aqueducts, lakes, and rivers which contaminates the water with hazardous chemicals.
To get a better idea of the scale of illegal dumping, consider an abandoned car with a gallon of motor oil left in the engine. When the vehicle or motor oil reaches a bed of water, the impact is severe. According to LA’s department of public works, a 1 gallon of motor oil contaminates 1,000,000 gallons of water.
Where Can We Go to Legally Dump?
There is no point in only speaking about the penalties that come along with illegal dumping. There are plenty of options and methods to getting rid of old cars or electronics, without stress or hassle. Electronics and appliances are widely accepted and encouraged from recycling centers. Some recycling centers even buy electrical appliances they plan on recycling.
Here are the options:
- Call-in for bulk item picks up from your local bureau of sanitation
- Depending on the item, charities accept donations and free pick up upon scheduling
- Check your cities website for recycling center drops centers
- Drop-off your old electronics to recycling centers near you
At Pacific Auto Recycling Center, we offer full-service part sales, buy CRV, and collect E-waste.We value convenience and customer satisfaction, so give us a call at (661)-949-0048 or come visit us at 225 W Avenue H, Lancaster, CA.