Illegal dumping is a problem all over the nation and Austin, Texas is no exception. Illegal dumping is definitely a problem in Austin and the city has been attempting to battle it for quite some time now.

On Harold Court off of US 183, there is an area where illegal dumping has become rather common. Down towards the dead end of the road, you can see downtown Austin and trees in the more rural area. However, if you take a few steps into the brush, you will quickly notice the dumping ground it has become.

Another area was discovered to be used as a dumping ground for hazardous waste such as oil, pesticides and gas containers. The Capital Areal Council of Governments (CAPCOG) had recently found the land where these materials were being dumped and are now concerned about the effects such hazardous waste can have on the environment.

With over 500 “No Dumping” signs around the city and 30 cameras, it’s hard to believe that illegal dumping is such an issue in Austin. The Capital Area Regional Task Force had placed these signs and cameras to catch those committing the act, yet it still occurs.

Education is believed to be the solution to the issue. The RETF already holds three environmental training programs a year. These classes are to educate the investigators of illegal dumping, such as Austin law enforcement. Not only does illegal dumping hurt the environment and create an eyesore, but it costs taxpayers more, which many don’t realize.

Depending on the severity of the situation, a person busted for illegal dumping can face a misdemeanor or a felony charge.  Even if that person is caught in the midst of the act, investigators are typically able to find the guilty party after examining evidence from the illegal dumping site.

Illegal dumping greatly affects the environment, especially if the waste materials are hazardous. It also creates an eyesore for the city in which you live. Proper waste disposal practices need to be administered along with education. There has been no word on whether Austin plans to further their efforts against illegal dumping in their city.