Photo: Arizona-Mexico Border Trash
Attempting to draw attention to the amount of trash left by those crossing the U.S.-Mexico border of Arizona, state officials have launched a new website called azbordertrash.gov.
Currently, the site has posted that they are looking for volunteers to clean up the 370 mile borderland along Arizona’s border with Mexico.
“An estimated more than 2,000 tons of trash is discarded annually in Arizona’s borderlands, “ says the website. “A variety of federal and sate government entities, Native American tribes and private landowners are affected by the problem, and addressing it requires extensive coordination.”
Those immigrating to the U.S. illegally often leave behind vehicles, backpacks, plastic bottles, clothing, paper, and other items. Medical supplies are occasionally found as well. On average, during each trek, the average border crosser leaves six to eight pounds of trash in the desert.
The site, funded by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, says the trash can negatively effect the vegetation and wildlife in the area, and can cause erosion and watershed degradation, and damaged infrastructure and property.