The research focused on Sacramento, in the US state of California, after clean-up costs in the county almost doubled in the last three years.
The new report, Area Wide Illegal Dumping Analysis for City of Sacramento and County of Sacramento, found illegal dumping had increased across Sacramento by 32% in the last three years despite a 40% increase in preventative bulky waste collection services in the area.
Eunomia’s report highlights that although multiple agencies are clearing up illegally dumped waste in Sacramento, there is no single organisation overseeing activities, existing fines are insufficient as deterrents, and there are currently and no formal regional awareness raising campaigns or education programs – meaning there is a cultural acceptance of illegal dumping.
Sarah Edwards, head of Eunomia’s New York office – “There are long-term savings that can be made if this package of measures is implemented but their success depends on increased co-ordination, a commitment from all stakeholders to support prevention methods as well as some market research and some monitoring and evaluation.”
The consultancy has been involved in producing reports in a number of local authorities where illegal dumping, and other waste crime, is presenting serious challenges.
A previous report, Rethinking Waste Crime, which researched the problem in England, highlighted losses to the taxpayer of £604 million a year, the equivalent to building 34 new secondary schools or paying for 4,137 NHS hospital beds per year.
With the UK Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy underlining the need to tackle waste crime across the country, the recommendations made in Eunomia’s report provide a basis for the next steps local authorities can take to cut costs and tackle illegal dumping, it says.
Sarah Edwards, head of Eunomia’s New York office and one of the report authors, said: “There are long-term savings that can be made if this package of measures is implemented but their success depends on increased co-ordination, a commitment from all stakeholders to support prevention methods as well as some market research and some monitoring and evaluation. We have also identified potential funding streams Sacramento can tap into.”
Take Away Recommendations from the report:
- A set customer standard based on a waiting time of maximum of two weeks for bulky collection
- Two free bulky waste collections in the County (to match those offered in the City) and the addition of two e-waste collections – providing a uniform service across single-family properties which make up 80% of Sacramento’s demographic
- A multi-lingual education campaign including visual tags on carts
- The expansion of the existing free dump coupon programme to cover all areas
- The introduction of neighbourhood junk waste drop off sites for peak times and locations throughout the year, eg, university campuses at the end of each semester
- The offer of free bulky services to multi-family properties
- An area wide citizen engagement, education, and outreach partnership program that fosters pride of place in Sacramento.