May 24, 2005
For immediate release
For more information, contact:
Bonnie J. Prigge or Tammy Snodgrass (573)265-2993
SOLID WASTE DISTRICT SHARES WINNING ESSAYS
In April, some 400 students participated in the Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management
District's annual Earth Day Poster and Essay Contest, preparing posters and
essays fitting the theme, Illegal Dumping: Effects and Prevention. The annual
contest is a part of the district's effort to increase awareness of the solid
waste problem and illegal dumping specifically. Persons needing solid waste
information in the Ozark Rivers District, which includes Crawford, Dent, Gasconade,
Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties, should contact Tammy Snodgrass
at (573) 265-2993.
The following essay is a first place award winner, submitted by Brittany Hamby, a 13-year-old seventh grader at the John A. Evans Middle School in Potosi.
SAVING OUR WORLD
Essay by Brittany Hamby
Has anyone ever thrown trash out of a car window? Well, then they probably
do not know that it is illegal dumping. Illegal dumping can cause many issues
that lead to animal death, water toxin, and a repulsive odor that no one wants
to smell. So, in this essay, I will explain three ways people can stop illegal
dumping as an individual, as a school, and as a community. I believe anyone
can help stop illegal dumping or help keep their environment safe.
First, I will talk about how as individuals we can help clean our environment. We as individuals could clean our places and our property. We could also learn to recycle our cans, paper and plastic and even reuse certain things instead of throwing them away. Another good example is not to throw paper cups and bags out of the window of a car. These are all good examples of how as an individual we can stop illegal dumping.
Next, I will explain how as a school we can stop illegal dumping. Schools can have clubs such as the Science Club and Nation Honors Society can pick up trash around their school or their community. They could make new clubs just for that reason also. Schools can also have an outdoor education class to help students learn the value of our environment and how we can help save it. Many students can volunteer, also, to help clean the school. Janitors can put out recycle bins at lunch for students to recycle soda cans and more. These examples can help save our environment in many ways.
Last, I will explain how as a community we can stop or try to prevent illegal dumping. As a community we can stop illegal dumping in our community in many ways. We can get together as a group and go to local parks and pick up trash around the area. We could also have local restaurants or places put recycling bins in their business. We could also have group organizations like YMCA group to have a week for everyone to take outdoor education classes at camp. If we all work together we can save our environment.
In conclusion, I have explained how as individuals, as a school, and as a community we can work to make illegal dumping a thing of the past. I really think we could do this to save our world.
The following essay is a first place award winner, submitted Hannah Snitker, a 17-year-old junior at Belle High School.
ILLEGAL DUMPING: EFFECTS AND PREVENTION
Essay by Hannah Snitker
Can you imagine driving down a gravel road admiring the beautiful scenery,
when all of a sudden, you see piles of garbage sitting in an open field? That
is exactly the case you will find when you drive along many of the roads in
Missouri. Illegal dumping has already become a threat to the health of humans,
wildlife, and the environment, but it is not too late for the citizens of Missouri
to clean up their act.
Illegal dumping is the discarding of household garbage, appliances, used tire, and anything else that is toxic to the environment. Illegal dump sites can be in empty lots, pastures, ravines, and along roadsides. People may think that this is an easier way to get rid of their garbage, but what they are doing could actually cost them more in the future.
Illegal dumping can only have negative effects on the earth. Often if the dump sites are allowed to remain, they grow larger which creates a public nuisance. Wildlife habitats are destroyed and the plants in the surrounding areas are damaged. Illegal dump sites can also pose a threat to human health. They can lead to fire or explosion, injury to children playing in or around the illegal dump site, and could also contaminate the drinking water in wells. Environmental problems may also arise when illegal dumping occurs because the toxicity in the garbage can pollute the surrounding soil, rivers, and lakes. As you can see, illegal dumping is a serious problem that leads to harmful effects. It is our job to prevent illegal dumping and to promote recycling.
Citizens of Missouri can do many things to prevent illegal dumping. The first step is to report an illegal dump site to local authorities. Once they are aware of the problem, they can enforce any local laws that prohibit open dumping. If the illegal dump site is wanted to be cleaned out in a more timely manner, an online complaint can be filed to the Department of Natural Resources. Of course some more hands on activities can be done to protect the environment. People can post a sign publicly announcing waste cannot be dumped, and can even clean up the dump sites. Picking up trash along the highways or anywhere would be a great community service project for a school organization or even an individual to do. Another act that could prevent illegal dumping is spreading the word around town or to a neighbor about recycling. Hopefully, if people are given a positive alternative to getting rid of their trash, they will think twice before polluting the earth.
Illegal dumping is a serious problem, but it is far from being uncontrollable. If the citizens of Missouri act now, we can work together to clean up illegal dump sites and prevent future ones. It may involve a lot of hard work, but it is worth it if we want to keep the environment and Missouri healthy.