In this paper I will describe what constitutes improper trash disposal practices. I will also discuss the health issues that these improper practices could pose to the people of my community in Allenhurst, Georgia. Finally, I will discuss the possible effects that a natural disaster would have to our waste management services and health.
Improper trash disposal practices include, but are not limited to, placing household hazardous waste in unapproved containers or areas, littering or illegal dumping, and illegal burning. Household hazardous wastes (HHW) are things that may be toxic, corrosive, highly flammable, or reactive to other materials. An example is pouring antifreeze into the ground or throwing car batteries into your household trash can. According to the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), “The average home can accumulate as much as 100 pounds of HHW in the basement and garage and in storage closets.” Abandoned durables, such as refrigerators, dish washers and other appliances can also be considered HHW.
Littering is carelessly discarding trash and may also be caused by animals digging through trash searching for food. This can happen by trash bags not being in appropriate trash containers. Illegal dumping is intentionally discarding trash in unapproved areas, such as privately owned land, vacant lots or even bodies of water such as creeks, ponds, lakes, etc. Illegal dumping was a growing problem in our community a couple of years ago. The tiny dump that was designated for the community shut down, and soon piles of trash bags, old plywood and furniture were being dumped in privately owned land adjacent to our neighborhood.
Another improper practice can be known as “backyard burning”. This is the burning of trash or HHW near your home. In Georgia, the burning of manmade materials is illegal and the burning of natural vegetation requires a permit...