Littering and the illegal dumping of garbage and tires is a growing problem that presents serious environmental and public health concerns for the residents of Franklin County.
Trash and tire piles present the ideal living and breeding environment for rats, mice and other rodents, ticks, flies and mosquitoes that, in many cases transmit disease. In addition, illegally dumped material presents the risk of physical injury resulting from contact with broken glass, sharp metal, biological and chemical waste.
Many materials that are illegally dumped contain toxic or hazardous substances that can threaten surface or groundwater supplies. Trash and especially tires that catch fire can cause air pollution that may harm the health of persons exposed to the fumes while also damaging the environment. Decaying garbage and yard waste dumped in residential areas create unpleasant odors and can contribute to the impression that the entire neighborhood is in decline, thus negatively impacting property values. Research has shown that such conditions also lead to higher crime rates.
Open dumps are found along secondary roads, utility right-of-ways, water courses, on abandoned lots, in open fields, near construction sites, and along railroad tracks. Often the property owner is unaware that the dumping is occurring. However, the property owner is ultimately responsible for proper disposal of any solid waste deposited on his/her property.