The collection and disposal of waste in remote areas along Arizona's 370-mile border with Mexico poses difficult challenges. An estimated more than 2,000 tons of trash is discarded annually in Arizona's borderlands. A variety of federal and state government entities, Native American tribes and private landowners are affected by the problem, and addressing it requires extensive coordination.
The environmental impact caused by illegal immigration, and the trash left behind, is increasingly being found in areas that are more fragile and remote.
Successful cleanups of border trash sites have been taking place by government and private landowners, as well as volunteer groups. Before the creation of this tool, there was no consistent method for conducting cleanups or for collecting data. The State of Arizona through the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has been working with partners to develop this Web site to provide a centralized location where stakeholders conducting border trash cleanups can find assessment and cleanup resources, and where data from cleanups can be tracked consistently. This will provide for more cost-effective, sustainable and efficient cleanups.
Funding for elements of this Web site has been provided by the State of Arizona, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Border 2012 Program, administered by the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC), and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Arizona State Office.
Input has been received through various stakeholder groups familiar with and active in the issues surrounding accumulated trash sites in the Arizona border region. This includes the Borderlands Management Task Force (BMTF), overseen by the U.S. BLM. The BMTF consists of over 15 member agencies and tribes, who discuss border issues including options for mitigating environmental damage caused by illegal immigration in Arizona. The support of these partners is appreciated.