The High Desert Has an Illegal Garbage Dumping Problem!

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Jasmin Perez

A beautiful horizon? The desert, with shrubbery and Joshua trees is tainted by concrete blocks dumped by construction workers. "I hate it," spoke Freshman Nancy Guerrero, "It's bad for the environment and it's population."

Jasmin Perez, Journalist

The terrain of the desert is beautiful; even though the dirt is hard and dry to the touch, life still pushes through. Joshua trees and shrubbery glitter the flat land and animals thrive. Jackrabbits, ants, beetles, reptilians, snakes, and coyotes all scatter the desert and maintain a very high diversity of species.

But to anyone driving on the rural streets, that isn’t the reality that you see. Driving down the streets you see piles of trash from plastic bags to concrete blocks. It’s a mixture of commercial and residential trash, all piled together. Illegal dumping runs rampant within the High Desert.

It’s almost expected to see plastic bags entangled with tumbleweeds, and jackrabbits running with pillow filling in their mouths. The High Desert seems to recognize that, running program after program for a low cost or even free to keep things from being trashed in the middle of the desert.

Jasmin Perez
Bushes, dirt, sun… glass? The beautiful shrubbery of the desert is entangled with wire, broken glass and plastics. “I see trash floating around in the wind all the time,” said Sophomore Samantha Casarez.

This March 14th, Victorville has a whole day dedicated to disposing of trash properly, in the landfill, free of charge. It’s called Free Dump Day. And still, with these programs and days placed, we find ourselves littering the very place we live, tainting the natural ecosystems that we are surrounded by. Why?

The answer varies and many feel the same way. “I think they litter simply because they don’t care and they are lazy. It makes me not sad, but angry,” freshman Ana Rocha said.

”Why can’t they just get up and pick up [after themselves]?”

Freshman Enrique Bernal thought differently saying, “It’s just stupid, honestly. Just pick up your own trash, it’s not that hard [but at the same time] I don’t feel anything towards it because it doesn’t affect me.”

And that’s exactly the root of the problem. Sophomore Samantha Carasrea spoke on this, “They find it easier and don’t see the consequences since they don’t see it affecting them.”

As of now, it isn’t affecting us, but who knows what the future holds in a world without caring for the planet, especially an area so close to where many live. Just this January, a group found themselves collecting 100 tons of trash in the desert, and much is still left so be scattered around the empty desert fields.

Many thought about it, wondering what they could do to help the situation.

Freshman Madeline Herdlein had an idea, “I would give more prevalent ideas on it, get groups to help clean it up- just educate them.”

“We can put trash cans in areas that are heavily populated everywhere,” responded freshman Nancy Guerrero Corona.

But ideas are overshot, most of the time reality needs to kick in. Carasrea felt this way, speaking “Either way, people will still do it because they think it’s easier. Even if there are more fines, they’ll just be on the lookout and do it when the coast is clear.”

Jasmin Perez
Piles upon piles! The desert is surrounded by piles of stuff! “I think they just don’t care,” Responded Freshman Madeline Herdlein, “They are careless and angry.”.

“They would still do it [with heavier fines]; they would probably throw it in the faces of law enforcement,” responded Bernal.

”The only way to fix it is through teaching them,” concluded Carasrea, feeling that fines and programs won’t stop the root of the illegal behavior.

To some it’s discouraging, to others it’s angering, and to a couple, it doesn’t affect them. And even though the responses are different, and none with concluded solutions, the cleanup and stopping of illegal dumping is a work in progress with an emphasis on process.

 

 

 

Retraction: 2/7/2020 @13:10 pm: The story was changed as follows:

Sophomore Enrique Bernal (#11) was changed to Freshman