Illegals Dump 2,000 Tons of Trash in Arizona Each Year.

Splayed in the desert just south of I-10 along Rita Road is an unruly collection of backpacks, flannel shirts, coats, water bottles, soft-drink cans, pill packages, toothbrushes and toilet paper rolls.

“Look how close we are to town,” said K.C. Custer, a county environmental investigator, as he walked across the dump site lying across the interstate not far from the large Rita Ranch development. “That’s what amazed me about this. It’s getting worse. We used to find them only in remote areas.”

On a recent visit, Custer, who hadn’t been to this site for a month or two, was also amazed at the huge number - maybe 100 or more - of multicolored backpacks and coats around at the site. Many looked fresh.

“Have you ever seen so many backpacks in all your life?” he asked.

Illegal-entrant trash dumping has gone on in Southern Arizona for years. The Tohono O’odham Tribe has been struggling to keep up with and remove trash dumped on the reservation for a long time. It has estimated that the average desert-walking immigrant leaves behind 8 pounds of trash during a journey that lasts one to three days if no major glitches occur.

Assuming half a million people cross the border illegally into Arizona annually, that translates to 2,000 tons of trash that migrants dump each year.

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