Illegally dumped waste looks pretty terrible. But did you know that it makes people feel bad, too? That’s right! When people see illegally dumped waste and litter, they think that residents don’t care about their community or each other. When businesses see litter, they wonder what kind of employees or customers they will find.
In addition, illegally dumped waste can be dangerous to humans and animals. Whether trash is in the street or on the sidewalk, swerving to avoid it in a car or on a bike can be dangerous. When litter is thrown from moving vehicles, it creates a hazard for the cars behind. Broken glass on the sidewalk or edge of the roadway can cut you or your dog’s feet. Plus, animals sometimes try to eat litter, thinking that it is food.
Here’s one more reason you should care -- illegally dumped trash is expensive. Road and highway departments, parks departments, and businesses pick up and dispose of waste that was accidentally or carelessly tossed by others. In doing so, they spend time and money on someone else’s trash. We all have to pay for this, whether through our taxes for government agencies to pick it up; or in what we pay for products to businesses which must charge more to cover the costs of disposal.
As many of you are aware, illegal dumping of trash and litter has been an ongoing problem in Buncombe County. We have many residents who have been eager to get involved and help us clean up the County and keep it clean. In addition to the efforts undertaken by concerned citizens, businesses and government agencies; the Environmental Control Officers are out enforcing the Buncombe County Solid Waste Ordinance.
A second difficulty is the “hidden” illegal dumping that takes place when garbage is placed into a dumpster without knowledge or permission of the business. Using a dumpster without permission or without paying for it is illegal. The Environmental Control Officers will investigate unauthorized garbage in dumpsters and violators will be subject to the same fines as those who dump garbage on roadsides or in empty lots. Finally, one of the smallest forms of illegal dumping is also the most common -- cigarette butts. Whether dropped at the entrance to buildings or tossed from car windows, cigarette butt litter is everywhere. Many smokers think, “What’s the problem? They’re small.” The problem is that cigarette butts do not biodegrade and can choke and poison wildlife. Please properly dispose of your butts. You’ll keep our community looking better and help reduce the possibility of wildfires.
To report illegal dumping or littering, contact your Buncombe County Solid Waste Enforcement Control Officers:
- Jane Cole, 250-5472
- Rick Ramsey, 250-5471
The Department of Transportation has a Litter Sweep Hotline which people can call when they witness litter being thrown out of a vehicle. Information required when using the hotline is as follows:
- vehicle tag (license plate) number
- date and time of occurrence
- the name of the road.
Report this information to the Litter Sweep Hotline at 877-368-4968 or 919-715-3188.