Wildcat Dumping

Author: Sara Chavarria
Editor: Stephanie Nardei

Time: 6 class periods

Photocopy Handout 1-1 per student
Photocopy Handout  2-1 per student


Handout 1 – Pamphlet template
Handout 2 – Pamphlet analysis
Guest Lecturer – Environmental Services office or someone from waste management or risk management

This is the Apply lesson for the Final Project. This is meant to complement the Explain lesson taking place in Language Arts. An important component to the final project is to present the students with the opportunity to investigate what is going on in their community in regards to this topic. The product for be created in this lesson is a Tri-fold pamphlet. The intended audience is the local community and is meant to provide valuable information on wildcat dumping and its implications to the community’s health.

Students will be able to:
Design and print an educative pamphlet addressing Wildcat Dumping in their community by conducting research.

National Council for History in the Schools
Historical Thinking Standards

  • Standard 2G: Draw upon visual data, literary, and musical sources.
  • Standard 5B: Marshal evidence of antecedent circumstances and contemporary factors contributing to problems and alternative course of action.
  • Standard 5E: Formulate a position or course of action on an issue.

United States History Standards

  • Era 10 Standard 2:Economic, social, and cultural developments in contemporary United States.

Teacher Background
To aide in assessment, it is suggested that the teacher acquire all of the material the students are expected to compile from the local Environmental Services office (Handout 1 and Handout 2 might help the local office see what is to be investigated). If there is no office in your city, town or county by that name, call the Waste Management Office for the information If there is a university of college in your city, they should have a Risk Management and Safety Office that can help. If all else fails, check in with the Chamber of Commerce.

If six days is too long, the first day can be one of the research days or the day the guest lecturer can come if that can be arranged.

Resource WebsitesHamilton County Environmental Services http://www.hcdoes.org/sw/illegaldump/illegal_dumping.htm
Illegal Dumping Issues & Answers: http://www.recycle.4t.com/custom3.html
Illegal Dumping Prevention Guide http://pulse.pharmacy.arizona.edu/resources/il-dmpng.pdf
Environmental, Health & Economic Effects of Illegal Dumping http://pulse.pharmacy.arizona.edu/resources/EffectsofDumping.pdf
Report Illegal Dump Sites: http://www.metro-region.org/article.cfm?articleid=569
Illegal Dumping Control http://www.stormwatercenter.net/Pollution_Prevention_Factsheets/IllegalDumpingControl.htm
What is Illegal Dumping and Why is it a Problem: http://www.metrokc.gov/health/hazard/dumping.htm
Phoenix.gov on Illegal Dumping http://phoenix.gov/GARBAGE/illdump.html
Texas Illegal Dumping Resource Center http://www.tidrc.org/Homex.htm
City of Tucson on Illegal Dumping http://www.tucsonaz.gov/infoguide/ig_listing.php?listing=159
Article in Arizona Daily Star on Illegal Dumping http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/taxpayerwatch/65359



Day 1

  1. Remind students that waste disposal serves a purpose: to protect us by protecting our water. Notes: As has been seen in this quarter, contaminants and pollutants compromise our health when proper sanitation and disposal procedures are not put into effect.
  2. Notes: City and county governments provide disposal and sewage services that we pay for to ensure our communities remain clean and safe.
  3. Notes: There are instances in which some people do not follow disposal protocols as they should. These are individuals who dump materials illegally. Ask students to suggest reasons this might happen. (possible answers: Fees for garbage disposal too expensive, rural areas offer lots of space for disposing of waste, individuals involved in illegal activities like drug development might dump their by-products and waste in rural or abandoned areas. Empty lots are closer than landfills if you have to pay a fee to go to the landfill.)
  4. List student suggestions and have them write them in their notes.
  5. Inform them that illegal dumping (also referred to as Wildcat Dumping) is common throughout the United States. It is considered by some health officials as one of the most dangerous activities that can lead to contamination and pollution of our soil, air, and water.
  6. Ask the following question:

    How hazardous is wildcat dumping and what can be done about it?

  7. The student will answer the question by investigating local occurrences of Wildcat Dumping and collecting data to share with the community about this illegal activity.
  8. Students will be expected to conduct research in order to create a tri-fold pamphlet (Handout 1). The pamphlet will be an informative piece on Wildcat Dumping and will address a number of information such as:
    1. Why the community should be aware of this activity
    2. The different reasons for concern including contamination of soil, water, and air
      • Evidence that dumping is a health risk
      • A list of items at dump sites that are dangerous
      • Location of dump sites in your city
      • How dumping can affect community health (make connections between the hazardous material dumped and the resulting health disease or illness).
      • How dumping can affect a person that comes in direct contact with it.
      • What the tax payer costs for cleaning-up these sites should be noted.
    3. Instructions of what to do if a person finds a dumping site.
    4. Contact information at the local level, state level, and national level.
    5. IMAGES, drawings, and STATISTICS are essential in communicating the gravity of this illegal activity.
  9. Have students spend the time left over to start designing the tri-fold and ideas for images or drawings.

Days 2-3

  1. Students will be given 1 day to research using the internet (look for images, contact information, etc.). A second day can be spent by inviting a guest lecturer from the local Environmental Services office to give a lecture or by going back to the internet.

Day 4

  1. Work on the pamphlet.

Day 5

  1. Once the pamphlet is finished, another student will conduct a Pamphlet Analysis using Handout 2.
  2. At this point, the teacher can provide a sheet with data collected from the Environmental Services office for the student to use in assessing the accuracy of the data.

Day 6

  1. When done, the pamphlet will be returned to the author along with a copy of the analysis. The author will address the comments made by the other student and create a new and improved version of the pamphlet.
  2. Copies of the final pamphlets will be mailed to the local Environmental Services office for them to distribute to the rest of the community. (Students must make sure the material content is accurate.

End by reminding students that even though we have come a long way from the industrial era, we have still not stopped illegal dumping and are still at risk from hazardous contamination and pollution. Pose this final ponder question and statement for the quarter:

What can you do to ensure that our environment and health are not compromised by bad waste disposal policies? Remember, it is not just what we can do here in the United States but on the planet. All of our actions have long-term implications for our planet. We want history books to record that we did our part to improve our environment and human health.

If applicable.

Embedded Assessment
The student’s final pamphlet can be assessed, taking into consideration how well they addressed the comments in the Pamphlet Analysis Form.

The Pamphlet Analysis Form can be assessed to determine how well the student that analyzed the Pamphlet performed the task.

PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:

NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award


Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694

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Last update: March 7, 2007
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