Illegal Dumping... A Socially Deviant Act
Deviant acts in society refer to behavior which violate social norms and expectations. This definition helps to understand the behavior of people who dump their trash in unpermitted areas also known as illegal dumping. It's also referred to as "midnight dumping" because most deviant behavior happens late at night. Increasing evidence shows that illegal dumping is getting worse in South Carolina. Illegally dumped waste is primarily nonhazardous material, which typically include:
- Construction and demolition waste such as drywall, roofing shingles, lumber, bricks, concrete, and siding
- Abandoned automobiles, auto parts, and scrap tires
- Household trash
- Medical waste
Illegal dumps are not just unsightly, they can discourage economic development.
Reasons why people dump illegally:
- To save money. Why pay a fee to properly dispose of trash when they can just dump it in an unpermitted area?
- Ignorance of the consequences and environmental impact
People who take pride in their local communities are discouraged by others who partake in deviant behavior such as littering and illegal dumping. It's quite common for a little dump to turn into acres of trash in a matter of weeks. Property values go down because no one wants to live close to a dumpsite or pay the fees to clean up a mess they did not make.
Who's Footing the Bill for Cleanups?
- You – The Taxpayers of South Carolina
- Cities and counties can spend over $2 million on litter abatement each year. Keeping our state clean isn't free, no matter how you look at it.
What Can You Do?
Download the SCDNR TIPS App to report illegal
activity to law enforcement. It's free and easy.