How to Stop Illegal Dumping

How to Stop Illegal Dumping

Illegal Dumping has gotten out of hand.  According to the Los Angeles County Public Works, “People usually dump illegally to avoid collection and disposal fees, or because they believe proper disposal is just ‘too much trouble’.”   This is very unfortunate for our communities who receive the negative consequences of higher taxes for cleanup, environmental hazards, and a breeding ground for rats.

The cost of a one-time cleanup and detoxing of an area can cost thousands of dollars.  But to leave the mess is just not an option.  The best option is to stop the illegal dumping before it happens, preventing the cost of cleanup, preventing the chemicals and toxins from entering the ground water, and preventing the rats and mosquitoes from breeding.  The best areas to live are communities that care about their community!  So, what can a community do to prevent illegal dumping?

Here are some key points to help deter illegal dumping:

  • Educate the public through the schools and through community awareness groups about the costs, chemical hazards and dangers incurred by illegal dumping
  • Create safe, public-friendly waste disposal options and advertise them
  • Create laws that impose stiff fines for the perpetrators and advertise these stiff fines
  • Use Illegal Dumping Cameras to catch the perpetrators in the act
  • Use Social Media to ask the public to identify the perpetrators
  • Follow through with quick clean up

These steps will invite the citizens to be involved and help deter the criminal activity of illegal dumping within your community.

The Negative Impacts of Illegal Dumping

The Negative Impacts of Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is a complex social, economic, and environmental issue which can most effectively be addressed through identification of its root causes. Illegal dumping can have a devastating impact on the neighborhoods where it regularly occurs. Communities with low-median family incomes, higher rates of petty crime, and a higher percentage of renters are amongst the most commonly afflicted by the piles of unlawfully dumped waste (1). The negative implications of illegal dump sites are vast and affect the community in physical ways, as well as psychologically.

When the residents of a neighborhood observe the piles of unlawfully dumped waste, their initial reaction is often one of disgust due to the lack of care and selfishness influenced by the perpetrators of the crime. These residents may start to feel ashamed that their community is being treated as though it were a trash can of sorts. The “no one cares” feeling illegal dumping invokes can leave residents feeling insecure and unsafe in their living environment and incite further criminal activity and social disorder.

The environmental devastation that illegal dumping causes is also a primary concern, involving many health risks to nearby ecosystems and humans alike. Pollution from fires caused by igniting hazardous waste materials can take years to properly contain, resulting in contaminated ground water and soil. Diseases which can be easily spread via illegal dump sites include leptospirosis and rat-borne diseases such as Hantavirus. Mosquitoes, attracted to the ideal conditions for reproduction in commonly dumped items such as used automobile tires, have been the sole cause behind the Zika and West Nile viruses.

In a November 2018 interview for the local CBS news station in Las Vegas, Adam Chaney of the Southern Nevada Health District is quoted as saying, “If you dump it, you’re going to drink it eventually. It’s going to contaminate our lake [Lake Mead], it’s an eyesore and it’s a nuisance. It costs the taxpayers, it costs the private landowners. And in general, it’s not good for our community; it doesn’t say good things about our community. We don’t want to live in a giant trash heap.”

Because the act of illegal dumping causes so many negative issues within our communities, it is time we do all we can to try to prevent this growing problem. Illegal dumping cameras provide cities with the means to combat the illegal dumping problem within their communities.


  1. Brandt, Amory A., Illegal Dumping as an Indicator for Community Social Disorganization and Crime, San Jose State University; 2017
Illegal Dumping and Tires

Illegal Dumping and Tires

On average, 298 million used scrap tires are generated in the U.S. each year while 33 million are generated in California alone. These scrap tires are among the most common illegally dumped items because of their large size and inability to be compacted. Used tires that have been disposed of illegally contribute greatly to mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus and encephalitis, in addition to harboring other diseases. The sight of these heaps of scrap tires also contributes to urban decay, causing property values to decrease immensely.

Illegally dumped scrap tires are also hazardous to the environment due to the fact that just one used tire contains roughly two gallons of toxic paralytic oil. If this oil were to somehow ignite, the consequences could prove disastrous.  

The first used tire disposal laws were passed in 1985 and sought to reduce the growing number of used tire stockpiles. Among the laws passed, tire retailers were required to charge consumers a disposal fee in order to properly dispose of used tires in accordance with federal regulations. Many municipalities also now participate in grant-funded programs that are designed to address the problem of illegally dumped used tires. These grants are used to pay for tire pick-up, disposal, and enforcement of tire recycling laws.


  • Educate the public on proper waste disposal methods and where to find designated disposal facilities
  • Announce a Public Service Locally Recognized Day of the year set aside for recycling activities
  • Use Illegal Dumping Cameras in remote areas that attract illegal waste disposal
Illegal dumping of tires

Illegal Dumping-Tires

Although most people take their worn out tires to a reputable drop off location, some tires are left abandoned. Usually, abandoned in an illegal dumping spot known to the locals. This creates a possible hazard to the community. Not only is a pile of illegally dumped tires unsightly, they are harmful.

Did you know illegally dumped tires are consider hazardous waste? According to the Fresno Development and Resource Management (DARM), 800 million used tires are stockpiled. Stockpiled tires can provide a habitat for disease spreading mosquitoes.  And with all the rain California has received this year, the West Nile virus or ZIKA carrying mosquitoes are a real threat. In addition to tires being a habitat, DARM warns that tires release paralytic oil. Paralytic oil can possibly start a fire, creating an oil fire. Sounds pretty hazardous!  But what can you do about this problem to help your community?

Here are some actions items you can do to help your community with the Illegal Dumping problem:

  • Report any Illegal Dump Sites 
  • If you witness the dumping, take a picture or write down:
    • The license plate number
    • The description of the vehicle
    • What was dumped
  • If the Illegal Dumping occurs on your private property, post signs according to the laws of your city.  (Following the city requirements allow code enforcement officers to help with appropriate action)

The first responsible action one can do is be aware that the Illegal dumping of tires is dangerous and a real problem.  The second responsible action one can do is help prevent it.