How to Implement an Illegal Dumping Program

How to Implement an Illegal Dumping Program

Are you a city official that is irritated with the illegal dumping that is occurring in your city?  Here are some solutions to help your community.

Illegal Dumping is a major problem for most cities.  City officials are frustrated because even though resources are tight, the responsibility to clean up and prevent lays on their shoulders.  Fortunately, there are creative ideas that not only solve the problem but can add to the city’s resources.  To do this, the city must implement a program that includes city team work, involving several departments.

Here are some bullet points to build and implement an effective Illegal Dumping Program:

  • One person responsible to administer the program (including the deployment, operation and maintenance of equipment).
  • Access to a bucket truck for proper installation, movement, and maintenance equipment.
  • Coordinated efforts to educate the public and to increase public relation efforts.
  • Support from specified enforcement personnel to successfully prosecute individual cases.
  • Totally Portable, High-Resolution Cameras to catch and prosecute dumpers in the act.

Although, implementing an effective program can be daunting, cities should look at this challenge as an opportunity to make a difference. If the ordinances are written correctly, the program could even generate revenue, adding resources to the city. If you are a city official with the challenge of illegal dumping, do not despair.  Create and Implement an Illegal Dumping Solution that will bring pride to the community you serve.


Homeowners Associations & Illegal Dumping Problems

Unfortunately, most homeowners associations must manage the problem of illegal dumping. Indeed, trash regulations are among the first rules listed in HOA manuals, and with good reason. City fines are directed first to the HOA of the offending neighborhood. These fines can easily exceed $1000 per each day the trash isn’t removed from the dumping site. If the HOA felt inclined to challenge these fines, court costs can bankrupt an entire neighborhood.

So why would the city fine neighborhoods that have been literally dumped on?  Once the rubbish finds its way onto the property it becomes the responsibility of the victimized neighborhood to pick it up, with the owners paying the fees. Tenants of HOA controlled neighborhoods also end up paying for the dumping in the form of raised rents due to fines incurred by the misplaced garbage.

This issue is made even trickier to manage when the people who are doing the dumping are the neighbors in adjacent neighborhoods. Discussing the issue can often lead to a more abrasive relationship with these neighbors and make a bad situation even worse.

There are reasonable, logical solutions the HOA board can implement to combat the illegal dumping. As it is with most matters of a civil nature, open and honest communication with surrounding neighborhoods is a good place to start.

Here are some action items a Homeowners Association can do to help your community with the Illegal Dumping problem:

  • If you witness the dumping, take a picture or write down:
    • The license plate number
    • The description of the vehicle
    • What was dumped
  • Post signs according to the laws of your city.  (Following the city requirements allow code enforcement officers to help with appropriate action)
  • Report any Illegal Dumping problems to code enforcement and work with them to help you combat the problem
  • Cameras with high resolution that can capture license plates in complete darkness will give code enforcement the evidence needed to prosecute
  • Communicate and work with the surrounding neighborhoods

Illegal Dumping – Breeding Mosquitoes

Illegal dumping sites are a breeding ground for all kinds of diseases and mosquitoes.  In addition to rodents and the microscopic organisms, there are the disease carrying insects.  These creatures enter into the human domain, carrying with them their diseases, or become infected after biting a disease carrying source.  Some diseases transmitted by the mosquito in North America are Malaria, West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, and the most recent scare, Zika Fever.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, Mosquitoes require water to undergo their life cycle.  The four stages of life, hatching from an egg to becoming an adult flying insect, can take anywhere from 4 days to a few months, depending on the temperature and other environmental factors.  The female flying insect then searches for a blood meal, which can be an animal or a human.  After feeding, the female mosquito lays the eggs on or near water.

According to The American Mosquito Control Association, AMCA, a nonprofit organization that provides information and education to help communities suppress the mosquito population,  many mosquito problems in your neighborhoods are likely to come from water filled containers.

Now, imagine the unintended containers left at an illegal dump site.  Just to name a few, there are tires, mattresses, and toys.  Left unattended these articles accumulate more than enough stagnate water to attract and breed mosquitoes.

With the large amounts of rain and snow most cities have experienced this winter and spring, there is a lot of standing water.  And there are a lot of Illegal Dumping Sites.  Therefore, the probability of pestilence is high this year.

Illegal Dumping is a problem cities should take seriously. Thankfully, most people dispose of their trash in a responsible way.  However, there are some who do not, and the rest of the population is counting on the cities to do everything they can to prevent the  mosquito borne diseases that are plaguing the communities.  What is your city doing to prevent illegal dumping, the mosquito breeding grounds?