Let's Solve Illegal Dumping in our Communities
Illegal dumping in the San Luis Valley is a problem that affects all of our communities. Through the EPA's (Environmental Protection Agency) environmental justice collaborative problem solving (EJCPS) grant we have been able to secure funding in order to coordinate with members of the community and local government officials to address this issue. Our plan is to clean up one illegal dumpsite with volunteers from schools and help from county workers. After this is done a roadmap will be constructed to show best practices and encourage further steps to help mitigate this issue in the future. CCCW has partnered with RCAC (Rural Community Assistance Corporation) to gather data and solve some of the key issues leading to and addressing this problem.
Illegal dumping is a problem throughout the San Luis Valley (SLV). Not only is it an eyesore, but it can also have devastating and long lasting health impacts to members of our communities. Leaching is a process where toxic chemicals from items like batteries, refrigerators, and heavy metals slowly breakdown and seep into the natural environment. These chemicals find their way into water systems and can effect crops and drinking water. Since the local landfill is located all the way in Del Norte, it makes it difficult for many local residents to dispose of waste properly. This is one of the reasons why illegal dumping has become a problem in the SLV.
Recyclable materials do make up a large part of both residential and commercial waste. However, since the local recycling center is located in Alamosa, and it is not cost effective to recycle, much of the recyclable material is combined with normal household waste. Part of CCCW's mission, is to investigate alternative methods to engage and educate the public about this particular problem and discuss ways at solving this issues. Through public discourse, educational materials and open and transparent public dialogue, together we can come up with viable, long lasting solutions to sustainably address this issue.
For additional reading on this subject visit the following links and view some of the material we have provided below.
Remember, together, we can make a difference!
Suggested websites on additional information.