2022: Blight2Right: A Novel Community-Based Project Focusing on Eliminating Illegal Dumping in Flint, Michigan
Illegal dumping is a persistent environmental injustice associated with insufficient waste management practices. Like other forms of structural negligence, illegal dumping is a considerable barrier to community health and wellbeing in socioeconomically disadvantaged populations in the U.S. It also lowers neighborhood cohesion and negatively impacts property values and local investments. To date, there has been limited research into residents’ awareness, beliefs, and experiences with illegal dumping in their communities, precluding the development of community-driven solutions to this complex issue. To address this, researchers will launch Blight2Right to focus on neighborhoods in Flint, Michigan, a community battling high levels of dumping and health disparities potentially associated with this hazardous blight, much of it magnified by the city’s ongoing water crisis. The researchers’ overarching goal is to improve this populations’ awareness, capacity, and self-efficacy around illegal dumping and preventing and mitigating it.
[This project received an Office of Engagement Initiatives supplemental grant.]