Like many cities across the country, parts of Denver have become unofficial grounds for disposal. This is not only an unofficial, and therefore illegal, move but also an unwelcome one for residents as debris continues to build up in specific areas of the city.
Many culprits are at fault here, but it is commonly construction companies and private businesses throughout Denver that have created these unofficial dumping zones for their debris.
One of the biggest causes of illegal dumping in Denver comes from construction workers, who use the side alleys and streets to dump their unused materials once their work has been completed. Despite the fact there are many alternative options for waste disposal, including renting roll-off dumpsters, many areas in Denver have become polluted with waste due to the negligence of these companies.
A City of Dumping Sites
Some neighborhoods in Denver have suffered greatly due to this negligence as they have become literal landfills over the years.
As waste is dumped into their neighborhoods and left unattended, it is seen as an acceptable move by other companies, who then add to the landfill without repercussions. All manner of waste is being dumped into certain areas of the city, along with the regular trash cans and garbage disposal methods.
After years of being treated as a garbage disposal site, council members from the southwest side of Denver have remarked that enough is enough. They argue that it is not fair for their areas to be treated in this way and have spoken out about the current waste disposal habits of many across the city.
These reports came from the city in 2012, at the height of the waste issues, along with over 4,000 complaints from residents from across Denver regarding illegal dumping.
Whenever a complaint of illegal dumping is made, Denver’s waste removal services need to drive out to the location so they can pick up the offending waste. After years of complaints, a lot of the city’s resources have been spent on illegal dumping when it could be better used elsewhere.
It was reported that the city spent a quarter of a million dollars in one year alone on these efforts.
Tougher Penalties Needed For Change
During this illegal dumping crisis, Denver operated with fairly lax penalties, which only contributed to the issue.
At the time, a single infraction of illegal dumping was punished by the city with a fine of $96 – and this would only apply once the culprit was caught, with evidence. This low fee was around the same amount that most local landfills charged for using their services, so it makes sense for people to take the risk with illegal dumping.
In fact, it has been argued that receiving a fine for illegal dumping still left the culprits more in the pocket than they would be had they used the proper methods, such as going to local landfills.
By using these unofficial and illegal dumping sites, culprits would not have to pay the gas money required to reach the local landfills, a charge which would come on top of those given by the landfills, so they were frequently better off taking their chances with the law than going through the proper measures.
As most of the landfills were located outside of Denver city limits, it was easy and cheaper for most people to use illegal dumping sites. Without a proper punishment, there was no deterrent for this illegal behavior, and this contributed greatly to the issue throughout the city.
Changing The Law Around Illegal Dumping
In a bid to improve the health and safety of Denver, the city council had to change its rules regarding illegal dumping and the consequences that can come with it.
The council worked on enacting a law that would allow local police to confiscate any vehicle that was caught dumping waste illegally in the city. Confiscating vehicles would lead to more charges being associated with illegal dumping as culprits would have to pay to have their car impounded as well as the current charge for the illegal activity.
This new law was introduced as a deterrent for the contractors and businesses who continue to use the illegal dumping sites throughout the city and was intended to make things harder for anyone dumping illegally. The Denver city council hopes that it will push people in the right direction by making illegal dumping more expensive and troublesome than the proper methods, such as hiring a roll-off dumpster or working with the local garbage disposal services.
The Right Thing To Do
While illegal dumping may seem like a victimless crime, it can be very damaging for the residents affected.
Garbage comes with a list of hazards, and when left unattended, these can become more problematic. Not only are illegal dumpsites an eyesore, but they can be full of dangerous material and emit harmful bacteria.
This is why everyone should use the correct methods of waste disposal. The city of Denver has a range of reliable waste management services available for residents and businesses. For larger projects, it is also possible to rent roll-off dumpsters from companies such as EWM Dumpster Rental.
With a roll-off dumpster on your site, you will not have to pay out of pocket to visit local landfills as, once the container is full, EWM Dumpster Rental will collect it and responsibly dispose of the waste for you.