Trashy NJ behavior: New survey looks at illegal garbage dumping
Almost a third of New Jersey residents say they've dumped their trash illegally instead of finding a way that wouldn't inconvenience others or the environment.
In a survey from Sleepopolis, 29 percent of Garden Staters said they've left their old, no-longer-useful possessions as someone else's problem, even though there are more options today than ever to respectfully get your rid of your trash.
At 47 percent, televisions are the most popular items to get dumped illegally by New Jersey residents, the survey finds. Old mattresses are next at 21 percent, followed by fridges/freezers at 15 percent.
"I'd like to think that the public has learned their lesson, that you can't just dump something and have it go away," said Doug O'Malley, director of Environment New Jersey.
According to O'Malley, New Jersey residents' dumping habits have improved over the years, although it's still a noticeable problem in our cities.
"People look at vacant lots in Newark as their private dumping grounds," he said.
Decades ago, O'Malley said, waterway cleanups predominantly came up with household items. The biggest scourge nowadays is plastics, such as bags and straws.
Many New Jersey towns allow the disposal of old furniture and mattresses with regular household trash. Most others ask residents to schedule a bulk pickup appointment.
"You have to plan a little bit, you have to make a phone call, but it's not that hard," O'Malley said, noting a quick call for action on Facebook or Craigslist can also help take a bulky item off your hands.
The worst trash culprits reside in Kentucky, according to the Sleepopolis survey. More than 40 percent of Kentucky residents have dumped trash illegally. Just 5 percent of Alaskans admitted to the act.