Photo: Upper Monogahela River Association
Due to many requests- I am continuing on with resources and stats of taxpayer costs of litter, trash and garbage by state. Today, featuring West Virginia- one of the lowest in state scorecards as far as litter control.
- The State of West Virginia spends more than $3 million annually to remove litter from state highways
- There are over 1000 illegal dumping sites in West Virginia and the DEP spends about $1 Mill every year to clean them up.
- WV Adopt a Highway Volunteers pick up and average of 4,500, 000 pounds of litter each year
- WV Adopt a Highway averages 1300 groups of 27,000 volunteers who clean 3800 miles of highway
- West Virginians use over 1 billion containers each year, the majority of which end up in landfills or along our highways.
- 16 People died on West Virginia Freeways due to litter (2005)
- West Virginia is trying to eliminate an estimated 10,000 open dumps currently blighting the state’s ridges and valleys and polluting the rivers
- Hazardous waste dumps and landfills. About 500 uncontrolled hazardous waste sites have been identified in West Virginia. Facilities that store, treat or dispose of waste in impoundments or waste piles, or that have spills, may also contaminate ground water.
- Solid waste, in poorly designed and managed landfill sand illegal dumps. There are at least 15,000 un-permitted open dumps in West Virginia.
- Underground storage tanks. Slow gasoline leaks can eventually pollute an entire community’s water supply. It is estimated that between 100,000 and 400,000 tanks may be leaking throughout the country.
- Underground injection wells. These wells can range from simple cesspools to high-tech brine disposal wells that may be thousands of feet deep.
- Septic systems and cesspools. If improperly installed and maintained, contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and nitrates can seep down from the drain field into ground water.
- Acid mine drainage from abandoned coal mines.
- Fertilizers and pesticides, when overused or improperly discarded.
- Improperly abandoned wells. Unplugged wells allow pollutants to migrate from the surface or from deeper formation into fresh water aquifers.
- Used motor oil, poured in backyards, streams, on roads or down storm sewers can pollute ground and surface waters.
- Household waste products. Paint, varnishes, lawn chemicals, and cleaning solvents poured down sinks or disposed of with ordinary trash, can end up in landfills and eventually in the ground water.
- The Monongalia County Litter Control collected close to 10,000 pounds of trash from illegal dumping sites like one on Martin Hollow Road. “We collected 10 couches, 10 chairs, 14 mattresses, 14 box springs, three commodes and four televisions,
- West Virginia would save 365 billion BTUs of energy annually, the equivalent of about 62,979 barrels of oil annually. West Virginia would also recover at least 19,350 tons of beverage containers annually, saving the equivalent of about 77,000 cubic yards of landfill space annually. West Virginia would also reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 11,600 tons annually
State Litter Ratings
- West Virginia has one of the worst ratings among the 50 states for littering and doing something about the problem.The reason West Virginia is rated so lowly is because it was given a score of four in livability (nine is the national average); it has no litter tax, beverage container laws nor comprehensive recycling program; has no official nor unofficial statewide anti-littering slogan; scored a one for per capita state/local environmental spending ($230-$337 per person); scored a zero on daily per capita state waste disposal (4.61-9 pounds per person); and got a score of four for the percentage of litter/debris-related (object not fixed) fatal vehicular crashes
- No less than $50 and no more than $2,000
- Can be put in jail for 24 hours
- Illegal Dumping can be fined up to $5,000 a day and criminal penalties between $2500 and $25,000 a day and a year in prison.
Where to Report:
- Report Littering and Illegal Dumping at Litterbug.
- Report Illegal Dumping in Marion County at 304.367.5400
- Report Illegal Dumping in Morgan County at 304.258.8718
- Report Tires and Dumping online at Open Dump Reporter http://www.wvdep.org/Item.cfm?ssid=18&SS1ID=817&page=./reap/PPODDumpReporter.cfm