Disposing of garbage along public roads or vacant lots. Pouring chemicals, pesticides and automotive fluids down storm drains. Discarding trash in dumpsters that don’t belong to you. These acts, considered by many to be harmless, all have the potential to cause health and safety risks for both humans and the environment. It’s called illegal dumping and it is a growing concern for commercial property management across North America.
Illegal dumping can impact a commercial property in many ways. Overflowing dumpsters are not only aesthetically unpleasant, they can attract disease-spreading rodents and insects and give them a place to breed. Pollutants can penetrate soil, water supplies and the air we breathe. Property values are affected, as well. Litter strewn around an apartment complex or shopping center gives the appearance that the property is neglected which can potentially ward off tenants and customers.
No discussion about illegal dumping would be complete without mentioning the financial implications. Millions of dollars are spent each year on cleanup efforts. A construction site owner arrived at his property one afternoon to find 165 gallons of hazardous chemicals that someone had left behind. He called the fire department to come check out the barrels and test their contents. Because it was determined there was no immediate threat, it became the property owner’s responsibility to dispose of the barrels even though someone else put them there. The cost to remove them was roughly $2,000.
What can commercial property management do to minimize or prevent illegal dumping? The first and easiest line of defense is to display ‘No Dumping’ signs on your premises. The signs should contain verbiage clearly stating that offenders will be prosecuted.
A second and more effective method to deter illegal dumping on your property is to work with a live video surveillance company. Once cameras are strategically placed around your property, live monitoring operators will watch them in real time and look for any suspicious activity. If they spot something unusual, they will activate a speaker warning, which is often enough to deter the intruders. If not, the operators can call local police.
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Illegal dumping is a costly and dangerous act that can affect a commercial property management in many ways. However, proactive solutions are an effect way to combat the problem. If you’re a commercial property manager interested in preventing illegal dumping, contact us here.