Emergency 101: Illegal Dumping

Disposing of your trash improperly is dangerous – do it right!

by Benton Best – July 13, 2018

Today we get to take a different look at disaster preparedness by discussing efforts that are underway in Tioga County to better protect the environment, and prevent the dumping of illegal garbage and waste. What does illegal dumping have to do with preventing disasters?

As one of Tioga County’s most common threats, flooding can be sudden, expensive, and dangerous, but often times flooding actually can be preventable. More specifically, we can reduce the risk of flash flooding by eliminating the illegal dumping of trash and household hazardous waste onto riverbanks and into streams.

The sudden increase of fast-moving water caused by rain is bad enough without the endless trash and debris jamming up against drain pipes, storm drains, in culverts, and under bridges. This trash creates a makeshift dam which causes water to be diverted elsewhere, thus causing a flash flood.

So what can you do to prevent illegal dumping?
1. Never dump anything onto the side of the street, down a creek bed or near a drainage ditch.
2. Always recycle your motor oil and other hazardous fluids.
3. Always properly dispose of your white goods such as refrigerators, freezers and other appliances
4. Always properly dispose of tires, television sets, and bags of garbage.
5. Always properly dispose of animal carcasses, these too can be hazardous to the environment.
6. Talk with friends and neighbors about how they too can prevent illegal dumping.
7. Finally, don’t allow anyone to dump illegally. If you see it, say something. Don’t let someone else’s trash become your problem!

Every time it rains, water runs off the land as stormwater. As it flows over fields, lawns, driveways, and roads, stormwater picks up pollutants and debris such as trash, dirt, motor oil, and fertilizer and pet waste. All of these pollutants are carried by stormwater into drainage ditches which flow untreated into our rivers, lakes and streams. Stormwater pollution is the biggest threat to our waterways. It harms our ability to use our rivers and lakes for swimming and fishing, makes treating our drinking water more difficult and negatively impacts our environment. Illegal dumping of trash only adds to this.

More information can be found on Tioga County’s illegal dump sites by visiting KeepPAbeautiful.org, or for more information about preventing illegal dumping in general, please visit illegalDumpFreePA.org.

Special thanks to all involved in the cleanup featured in today’s broadcast:
Deerfield Township
Knoxville Borough
PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)
PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Shell Appalachia
Tioga County Planning Department
Tioga County Soil Conservation Office

Credits:
Idea/Concept: Benton Best
Videography: Andrew Moore, Ethan Chabala
Video Editing: Andrew Moore
Writing: Benton Best
Anchor: Benton Best
Correspondent: Stacey Dondey

Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by Laurel Health Centers

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