5 Dangerous Effects of Green Waste Dumping
Imagine you see someone dump their grass clippings, garden waste and weeds into a forested area just outside a residential complex. Perhaps it’s really an extension of the person’s own backyard, or they drove little ways from their house to take it there.
It seems harmless, right? After all, garden waste and other compost materials are organic and are not technically trash. Green waste can naturally decompose, so why not dump it anywhere? Some may even go as far as to believe that it acts as an organic compost and fertilizer to the soil where it’s dumped.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Green waste dumping can have dangerous effects on the environment, contrary to what most people would believe. Here are 5 dangerous effects of green dumping:
- Wildfires When green waste is dumped in nature reserves or parks, this matter may serve as additional fuel for wildfires. Clippings and weeds quickly dry out, creating the perfect fuel for a fire. Even weeds that take root and spread may also contribute to spreading fires.
- Altered Biodiversity When green waste is dumped on top of native or local plants, these may be squelched out, as they lose access to sunlight. Weeds present in the waste may take root and spread. Depending on the plants present in the waste material, invasive weeds may overtake reserves and forests, significantly altering the biodiversity of the area. Of course, this doesn’t only affect plants. As a result, the surrounding wildlife’s habitat and food sources are impacted.
- Waterway Contamination Green waste can be easily drawn into the water system. It’s loose, and a good rainfall can quickly pull it into a stream or storm drain. In natural bodies of water, green waste may float in the water, decreasing the amount of light that shines through to naturally occurring plants in the water.
- Blocked Drains In addition to contaminating water systems, green waste can also block drains, which means that wastewater backs up, polluting the streets and even streams and ponds with sewage. Flooding is very plausible in cases of extreme green waste dumping.
- Negative Aesthetics Finally, although it may seem inconsequential when compared to the other effects of green waste dumping, it looks bad. The natural beauty of our parks and reserves is destroyed when green waste is dumped there.
So, now that you’re aware of the dangers of green waste dumping, you’re probably wondering, what should be done with green waste? You have several options. Some cities and towns offer green waste pickup days and special bins. By using these services, you can rest assured that your green waste will be disposed of in a safe, environmentally friendly way. Alternatively, you can use your green waste for mulching or as composting material. Grass clippings are a perfect mulching material for reducing weed growth and providing organic material for your garden’s soil. If you prefer, or if you have too much green waste, you can also compost some of it in combination with kitchen scrap and even newspaper.
What else can you do to help? In your garden, try planting local species. This will help preserve the biodiversity of the area and avoid the transfer of any invasive non-native species to non-residential areas.
Ecology supports environmentally friendly management of all waste.