The Consequences of Illegal Dumping Essay

The Consequences of Illegal Dumping Essay

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The functionalist theory asserts that if one part of the system fails to work correctly, all of the other parts of the system are harmed; one can see this with the consequences of dumping. Families are harmed when drinking water is contaminated with hazardous fluids that seep into waterways from dump sites and are not completely filtered. The government faces higher costs to clean up dump sites and litter so it raises revenue by increasing taxes on citizens. The money that goes toward funding cleanup crews could have potentially gone to schools to hire more teachers or fund research grants so educational institutions also are harmed. Religious institutions, which already manage themselves financially on the margin, may pay costs to restore property. The economy suffers because the forgone profits used to restore property could have been used by businesses to hire employees or renovate equipment. The broad effects that illegal dumping has on society reveal what may be considered isolated, harmless events contribute to a larger malaise explained by the functionalist perspective.
Illegal dumping can be viewed as an inequality problem because individuals who are guilty of doing it abuse property rights for their own personal gain and break social contracts with society. The social strain felt by all parts of society are caused by individuals or corporations taking advantage of the system. Since equality is valued in American society, it is permissible that either everybody is allowed to dump or nobody is allowed to dump. Since society values clean properties and resources, laws are established for the common good that ban everybody from certain acts of dumping that are enforceable by the legal system.
Due to the broad nature of ille...

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...tes. Adopting an attitude of public service by throwing away litter in public places is an activity that anyone can do to keep our nation clean.

Integrated Waste Management Board. (2014). What is illegal dumping? Sonoma County Department of Health Services: Environmental Health Division. Retrieved from
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. (2014). Highway beautification/adopt-a-highway – enforcing litter laws. Pennsylvania Resources Council. Retrieved from
Kendall, D. (2013). Sociology in our times (9th ed.). United States of America: Cengage Learning.
Louisvill Metro Government. (2013). Illegal dumping in louisville. City of Louisville, Kentucky. Retrieved from

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